ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. – U.S. Rep. Tim Walz announced Thursday evening that State Rep. Peggy Flanagan will join his gubernatorial campaign as the candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
A metro area state representative and a staunch liberal, she clashes with Walz on a number of issues. She opposes energy construction projects and mining in northern Minnesota, and personally called Walz to object to his work to tighten refugee screening procedures, reports the Star Tribune.
Flanagan was first elected to the state house from her district in St. Louis Park in November 2015 following the resignation of former State Rep. Ryan Winkler. She ran unopposed in that election, and followed it up in 2016 with a 64-36 victory over Republican Anne Taylor in 2016.
“Folks have to get involved in this campaign,” Walz said in announcement. “This is about Minnesota this is not about us. This is about making our politics work for everyone.”
Flanagan’s ambitious political track record is in stark contrast to Walz’ claim that the campaign is not about either of them.
When U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison was running for chair of the Democratic National Committee in late 2016 and early 2017, he stated he was considering resigning his position in Congress if he won the DNC election.
Flanagan, had been in the Minnesota House for just over a year in February of 2017. She had won just one contested election for the state house, and been sworn in for her first full term in January, but she was already planning on higher things. With Ellison potentially vacating his seat, Flanagan launched a bid to succeed him in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district.
Ellison of course lost the DNC election to former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, and kept his congressional seat. Flannagan’s plans were scrapped, but now she’s clamoring for higher office again alongside Walz.
If elected, Flanagan would be the highest ranking elected Native American official in American history according to Walz’s campaign. She is a member of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe.