Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, along with other political candidates, hosted a community event in Mankato Saturday to encourage people to vote — if they haven’t done so already.
Touching on issues such as health care, jobs and education and human rights, the senators and other speakers were here to start a discussion about the future of our communities and the impact voters have.
“This election is not just about what we are against, this election is about what we are for, and what we want to build forward toward after the election and the work that we have going forward,” Senator Tina Smith said Saturday in Mankato’s Sibley Park.
“This is not just about Democrats or Republicans, this is about all of us in this moment,” she said, uttering a common theme throughout the speeches. “Are you ready to go to work? Are you ready to call people? Are you ready to find 10 people who will call people to vote?”
Smith has been one Minnesota senator since 2018, when she was appointed to fill the seat left open after former Sen. Al Franken resigned. She was a leader of Planned Parenthood and Chief of staff for former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. She was also lieutenant governor under Gov. Mark Dayton. One of Smith’s major issues has been lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Both senators were at the GOTEV event standing alongside one another — while six feet apart — on the brisk Saturday morning.
“It’s about writing our own history, and electing a president with decency. We’ve lost over 200,000 people because of the administration and how they have handled COVID,” Klobuchar said.
“You can start at home and call your friends and family to vote, — that little ripple that’ll make all the difference,” Klobuchar said. “We have to show America what we’re all about.”
Klobuchar has been a senator for Minnesota since 2007 and was the first woman elected to the senate from Minnesota. She is known to rank near the top among senators for introducing bills, and getting bills passed.
The event endorsed many local and state democratic candidates campaigning for the Nov. 3 election.
Dan Feehan, a U.S house candidate, was among others who spoke at the event encouraging voters to participate in this year’s election. He told those gathered about his background as a combat veteran, school teacher, assistant secretary of defense in the Pentagon, and his work with the Farmers Union and how they’re creating solutions to the mental health crisis.
In attendance was an abundance of locals as well as the candidate’s families. People of all ages came out to listen to what the government officials had to say including MNSU students.
“The reason why I came to the campaign event is because I was just curious about what it was, I’ve never been to an event like this before,” MNSU sophomore Anastasia Harnitz said. “I really enjoyed Dan Feehan’s speech, I thought it was really moving as he was very vulnerable.”
The social distanced GOTEV event had hoola hoops as markers to ensure the safety of the public, ushering where to stand amidst the pandemic that is COVID-19. Volunteers with the campaign also took people’s body temperature before entering the event to further uphold the community’s health.
Header photo: Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks at a Get Out The Early Vote event as Sen. Tina Smith watches at Sibley Park, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 in Mankato. (Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter)