Duluth senator reprimanded for falsely claiming DFL endorsement

DFL Chair Ken Martin wrote a letter, posted July 8, to Sen. Erik Simonson.
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The Minnesota DFL party has told a Duluth senator not to claim he has the endorsement of the party after he implied he did in campaign materials.

DFL Chair Ken Martin wrote a letter to Sen. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, telling him to cease and desist his endorsement claims in campaign literature and on social media. Simonson, who is the incumbent for Senate District 7, lost the endorsement to challenger Jen McEwan.

Martin said Simonson’s wording implied he had the endorsement of the DFL party, pointing to campaign literature that stated he was “endorsed by Duluth DFL leaders.” A Facebook post by Simonson also reads, “it comes as no surprise that labor and local DFL organizations are standing by Senator Simonson…”

Martin also pointed to Minnesota state statute, which prohibits candidates from creating the false impressions they’ve received a party’s endorsement. Simonson may simply state he is affiliated or a member of the DFL party, Martin said.

“Moving forward, please modify your campaign materials to read, for example, ‘DFL Party Member’ and make certain all your campaign materials comply with this requirement,” Martin wrote in the letter, posted July 8.

Simonson was elected to the Minnesota House in 2012, moving to the Senate in 2016. Simonson failed to receive the DFL endorsement at a May virtual convention, receiving only 29 percent of the delegates, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Simonson decided he would still file for the Aug. 11 primary. 

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