Minnesota police association rescinds DFL endorsements over support for John Thompson

The DFL House Caucus was scheduled to host a fundraiser with Thompson this week, but canceled the event.

Minnesota’s largest police association has rescinded endorsements of several incumbent DFL lawmakers because of their refusal to condemn John Thompson, a St. Paul Democrat running for House who threatened to burn down a neighborhood during a protest last month.

Thompson also beat effigies of Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis police union, and his wife while standing outside their home, which struck a nerve with the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA).

Brian Peters, executive director of the MPPOA, confirmed with Alpha News that several endorsements were rescinded this week because of the DFL’s support for Thompson, but the group isn’t providing a specific list of candidates who lost their endorsements.

Peters said the group is still in the process of reviewing its list of endorsed candidates, hinting that more retractions could be coming.

As recently as Wednesday, state Rep. Brad Tabke was promoting his endorsement from the MPPOA on social media. Tabke, however, confirmed in a statement released Friday that he lost the endorsement while Alpha News obtained a letter showing that his Republican opponent, Erik Mortensen, was endorsed to replace him.

“This is extremely sad and frustrating,” said Tabke, who represents House District 55A. “It is frustrating that the MPPOA would cave to the political pressure that is forcing people to take sides and run to their corners. It is sad to me that they are indicating that working together to solve the big problems we have in Minnesota is no longer valued.”

Mortensen condemned his opponent for standing behind a “raging lunatic” instead of prioritizing “the safety and security of our communities.”

In the race for House District 19A, Rep. Jeff Brand lost the MPPOA’s endorsement and Republican Susan Akland was endorsed in his place. Rep. Zack Stephenson also lost his endorsement to Republican challenger Bill Maresh in the race for House District 36A, according to social media posts.

“I’m grateful to have the support of our law enforcement professionals who keep Minnesota safe,” Akland said in a statement. “Democrats have turned their backs on law enforcement and embraced radical ideas like disarming peace officers and defunding police departments — those ideas may be popular in Minneapolis, but here in Nicollet County and all of District 19A we have the greatest respect for our police officers and are grateful for the work they do.”

The fallout comes just days after Peters expressed his “deep frustration with the continued support shown by the DFL House Caucus to John Thompson” in a letter to House Speaker Melissa Hortman. The DFL House Caucus was scheduled to host a fundraiser with Thompson this week, but canceled the event.