Peggy Flanagan currently serves on the Minneapolis School Board, works for Wellstone Action, is an active DFLer and is running for her party’s endorsment in House District 58A, covering part of North Minneapolis.
What’s unusual about that? The seat is already occupied by a DFLer by the name of Joe Mullery.
Reached by phone Thursday night, Flanagan confirmed that she is running and said, “It’s time that we have somebody at the Capitol who’s on the floor fighting for community.”
Nationally (and to a lesser degree, locally), many in the progressive movement have experienced frustration with DFL majorities in legislative bodies that have not successfully moved a progressive agenda. I asked Flanagan whether her campaign was an effort to elect “more and better Democrats,” as many in the blogosphere have advocated, but she kept a very even keel: “Our campaign is about bringing new people into the process, new people out to the caucuses…We want to make sure we get people [in the legislature] who are progressive and are really connected to the community — folks here want someone who understands ins and outs of urban education, something I really want to focus on.”
Calling the 58A seat “Safe DFL” might be an understatement: in 2006 Mullery held the seat against Republican Nicole Kuehn by about 5,700 votes, or a 75 percent-18 percent margin. But some DFL activists have expressed frustration at what they’ve seen in Mullery’s tenure in St. Paul, in which he has served on the Commerce and Labor Committee, the Taxes Committee and chaired the Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee.
Mullery could not be immediately reached for comment Friday. In any case, Flanagan filed paperwork yesterday and says that her campaign website will be up soon. Her excitement came through loud and clear over the phone: “I love this part of the campaign, out there meeting with folks in coffee shops, finding out what people are really proud of in our community…” Sounds like north Minneapolis will have quite a race to look forward to in 2008.