Attorney General Keith Ellison visited MSU with other Democratic Farmer-Labor candidates to discuss the most important issues of the upcoming election Nov. 8.
Jeff Ettinger, running for the first congressional district, joined Ellison along with Julie Blaha running for state auditor, Nick Frentz running for senate district 19 and Luke Frederick running for congressional district 19B.
The candidates each spoke on the pressing issues impacting the state and midterm election.
Ellison and his fellow DFL candidates stressed the importance of voting in this election.
“People say all the time that this is the most important election. I will tell you that it’s actually true, these have been the most important elections. Why are they the most important elections? Because every year the stakes seem to get higher and higher and higher,” he said.
Ellison spoke on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which happened in June, and the repercussions this Supreme Court case could have at the state level. According to him, this includes access to abortions and contraceptives as well as marriage equality.
“This country of ours hangs upon our willingness to stand up and persuade people to fight for it. That’s really what it’s about,” he said.
The other candidates echoed Ellison’s message about the importance of voting. Midterm elections historically have lower voter turnout than presidential elections.
Blaha talked about the importance of local government and addressed her audience of College Democrats as potential future candidates.
“You’ll be doing the things that make people’s lives work. You’ll make sure that the water turns on, the toilet flushes, that the lights turn out, the plows get out,” she said. “You are doing the things that ensure that people can have a good life and don’t have to think about that all day and they can just get to the work that they do,” said Blaha.
The event was hosted by the College Democrats and coordinated by club president Storm Novak, who was contacted by the candidates’ teams.
Roughly an hour before the event occurred, Novak and the College Democrats were notified of a Facebook post alluding to protesting at the event. Novak said they notified the campaigns, campus security and those who planned to attend. Campus security was already prepared to be on site.
The point of contact for the candidates was first to say they still wanted to proceed with the event despite the security concern, according to Novak.
“We ultimately made the decision that it didn’t look like there were any active threats that were posted. It was more or less just people lamenting about the fact that Democrats exist,” Novak said.
Election day is Nov. 8. Minnesota offers an early voting period.
Ellison concluded his portion of the visit by telling the audience to personally convince people in their lives to vote and help them decide which candidates to vote for.
“Anybody who tells you that it doesn’t really matter, tell them ‘if it doesn’t matter, how come they keep on trying to interfere with the right to vote?’ It matters. Tell them that people sacrifice everything so that some people can vote. Tell them ‘this is me talking, you’ve known me for years. I need you to vote.’”
Header photo: Keith Ellison (left), Nick Frentz and Luke Frederick spoke to the College of Democrats on important issues that will be on the ballot during the midterm elections next Tuesday. (Julia Barton/The Reporter)
Write to Carly Bahr at firstname.lastname@example.org