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Minnesota's major Democrats join Hillary Clinton's new 'leadership council'

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Hillary Clinton now has some serious firing power on the Minnesota front of her battle for the White House.

Some of the biggest Democratic names on the state's political scene have joined the newly formed "Hillary for Minnesota Leadership Council," a group of "over 60 elected officials, community, student, coalition and grassroots leaders," according to a Monday news release.

Among the group's members, the campaign says, are Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Rep. Tim Walz, who represents Minnesota's 1st District in Congress.

The aim of this high-powered team of political players? To build a "grassroots-driven" volunteer network that will help Clinton win the Minnesota caucuses next year, the release indicates. It's a crucial step in securing the Democratic nomination for president.

The coalition also includes a number of state lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Paul Thissen.

But the list is also notable because of who isn't onit, Allison Sherry of the Star Tribune's Hot Dish Politics blog writes – Walz is the only U.S. House member on the council, even though four of the seven other Minnesota congressional delegates are Democrats.

This might be because those representatives – Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum – are holding out on endorsing Clinton for president, Sherry adds. Some of them may be waiting to see whether Vice President Joe Biden decides to enter the race.

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