The group responsible for this spring’s successful push to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota is now switching gears to defend vulnerable legislators who voted “yes.”
MN United PAC, the political fund formed by gay marriage advocacy group Minnesotans United for All Families, announced its “Minnesota 15” initiative — a list of lawmakers they’ve targeted as “priorities” to support for re-election next fall. Minnesotans United named five lawmakers on the list on Thursday, all of whom are rural Democrats serving in the state House.
Topping that list is DFL Rep. Joe Radinovich, a freshman lawmaker from Crosby who won in GOP-friendly House District 10B by only 323 votes last fall. Radinovich was the subject of a brief recall effort organized by Crow Wing County Republicans over his gay marriage vote. The recall pursuit was recently shot down by the state Supreme Court, but Republicans in the area have vowed to continue their push to oust the first-term lawmaker from office next fall.
DFL Reps. Shannon Savick, Wells, John Persell, Bemidji, Roger Erickson, Baudette, and Tim Faust, Hinckley, round out the first list released by the group.
Lawmakers passed gay marriage with a 75-59 vote in the House, easily clearing the 68 votes needed. But of the 73 Democrats serving in the chamber, 17 hail from districts that also voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage last fall. Four Republican lawmakers crossed over to support the DFL measure, too. In all, 21 House districts represented by Republicans shot down the gay marriage ban.