ST. PAUL, Minn.- The outgoing Mayor of St. Paul, Chris Coleman officially launched his gubernatorial campaign on Sunday with an campaign launch party.
The event was held at the St. Paul Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, a location which was chosen due to its background as a “progressive champion for all those that need supporters and need help.” Coleman has been the mayor of St. Paul for over 12 years.
While Coleman’s campaign has been on going since last December, the candidate waited until the end of his term as mayor to have an official launch party. There are 11 other candidates in the crowded race, including GOP candidates Matt Dean, Keith Downey, Dave Osmek and Jeff Johnson, while the DFL side includes Erin Murphy, Rebecca Otto, and Tim Walz.
In his speech, Coleman talked about the need to address climate change, invest in green energy, and fund education. Many of the speakers were quick to praise Coleman’s actions in these areas. However, Coleman’s background when it comes to education has not been without its controversy.
Coleman was an advocate for funding the bias indoctrination program in the St. Paul School District created by Pacific Education Group (PEG). The program was criticized heavily for its high cost of $3 million in consulting fees while seeming to incite behavior and discipline problems amongst the students. Coleman doubled down by having a day honoring St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva, who was instrumental in the school district’s declining test scores and the introduction of PEG.
Coleman’s record on climate was not clean either (no pun intended). During his tenure as mayor, St. Paul experienced a garbage problem when the city found itself in the awkward situation of not being able to do anything about an abandoned homeless camp due to it being on property owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Private citizens who cleaned up the homeless camp left the garbage bags in front of St. Paul’s city hall as a protest against Coleman’s malaise in this situation.