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Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party
AbbreviationDFL
ChairpersonKen Martin
GovernorTim Walz
Lieutenant GovernorPeggy Flanagan
Senate PresidentBobby Joe Champion
Senate LeaderErin Murphy
House SpeakerMelissa Hortman
FoundedApril 15, 1944; 80 years ago (1944-04-15)
Merger ofMinnesota Democratic Party and Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party
Headquarters255 Plato Boulevard East
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Youth wingMinnesota Young DFL (MYDFL)
IdeologyModern liberalism
Progressivism
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors  Blue
State Senate
34 / 67
State House
70 / 134
Statewide Executive Offices
5 / 5
U.S. Senate
2 / 2
U.S. House of Representatives
4 / 8
Website
dfl.org

The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) is a political party in the U.S. state of Minnesota.[1][2] The party was formed by a merger between the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party in 1944.[3] The DFL is one of two state Democratic Party affiliates with a different name from that of the national party, the other being the North Dakota Democratic–Nonpartisan League Party.[1]

It is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. The DFL controls four of Minnesota's eight U.S. House seats, both of its U.S. Senate seats, the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate, and all other statewide offices, including the governorship, making it the dominant party in the state. Its main political rival has been the Republican Party of Minnesota.

History

During the 1930s, the Farmer-Labor Party had gained traction with radical platforms that challenged economic and social inequalities, backed by Governor Floyd B. Olson. However, by 1938, the party's influence waned due to internal conflicts and accusations of incompetence and corruption, leading to a loss in gubernatorial elections.

On April 15, 1944, the Farmer-Labor Party merged with the Democratic Party, forming the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL).[4] Leading the merger effort were Elmer Kelm, the head of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the founding chairman of the DFL; Elmer Benson, effectively the head of the Farmer–Labor Party by virtue of his leadership of its dominant left-wing faction; and rising star Hubert H. Humphrey, who chaired the Fusion Committee that accomplished the union and then went on to chair its first state convention.[5] This merger marked a pivotal shift influenced by academic liberals at the University of Minnesota who advocated for integrating the New Deal's progressive reforms within a more centralized, managerial political framework, transitioning from the movement-oriented politics of the Farmer-Labor party to a structure that emphasized interest-group pluralism.

During the post-war years, the DFL confronted various social issues, including antisemitism, which reflected broader national conversations about race and ethnicity. The DFL also navigated with its stance on civil rights and economic justice, influenced significantly by Minnesota's small but politically active African American communities. In early 1946, as a Fair Employment Practice (FEPC) bill was moving through Congress, there was a surge of civil rights activism in the Twin Cities. The focus on anti-black racism as the paramount racial issue, particularly evident in cultural tolerance programs of the time, often marginalized the experiences of other groups, including Jews. Initiatives like the "Races of Mankind" exhibit at the Walker Art Center, which promoted a simplified racial classification, inadvertently contributed to this narrowing of focus. These programs tended to reinforce a binary view of race relations centered on black and white dynamics, at times overshadowing the nuanced experiences of other racial and ethnic groups.

Yet, internal strife continued. Factional battles were intensified by differing views on how to address the left-wing influence within the party, with significant conflicts between proponents of Henry A. Wallace's progressive policies and the more moderate wing led by figures like Hubert Humphrey. By the party's second convention in 1946, tensions had re-emerged between members of the two former parties. While the majority of delegates supported left-wing policies, Humphrey managed to install a more conservative, anti-communist ally, Orville Freeman, as party secretary.[6] Some disaffected Farmer–Labor leaders such as Benson moved to the Progressive Party.[3] Freeman was elected the state's first DFL governor in 1954. Important members of the party have included Humphrey and Walter Mondale, who each went on to be United States senators, vice presidents of the United States, and unsuccessful Democratic nominees for president; Eugene McCarthy, a U.S. senator who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 as an anti-Vietnam War candidate; and Paul Wellstone, a U.S. senator from 1991 to 2002 who became an icon of populist progressivism.[7] The DFL has had varied success beginning in the late 1970s and through the late 2010s, in part due to the growth of single-issue splinter groups after reforms brought by the national party.[5]

After the 2022 Minnesota elections, the DFL became the dominant party in the state, retaining every executive office, winning majorities in the state House and Senate, and re-electing all incumbent Congressional Representatives. With their newly elected trifecta, the DFL pursued a progressive agenda in their first legislative session. Governor Tim Walz described the session as “the most successful legislative session, certainly in many of our lifetimes and maybe in Minnesota history.”[8] The newly elected government passed large expansions in welfare programs and spending. Notable policies passed include the expansion of abortion rights, new programs to provide reproductive healthcare, protection of gender affirming care,[9] the legalization of recreational cannabis, indexing education spending to inflation, investments in public transit, and paid sick leave for Minnesota workers.[9][10] Former President Barack Obama praised the state government's actions, saying that "Minnesota has made progress on a whole host of issues – from protecting abortion rights and new gun safety measures to expanding access to the ballot and reducing child poverty. These laws will make a real difference in the lives of Minnesotans."[11]

Party organization

DFL logo used on a lectern at the 2006 state convention

The DFL is governed by a state central committee, which is composed of representatives from each of the state's congressional districts. The state central committee is responsible for setting the party's platform, electing party officers, and conducting other party business. The DFL also has a constitution and bylaws that govern its operations.[2]

Community caucuses

The party operates several community caucuses that organize and represent different communities within Minnesota that are not geographically defined.[12] These include the:

Voter base

The DFL's base of support is diverse, and it includes urban and suburban voters, working class voters, labor unions, environmentalists, and other progressive groups.[15] The party has a strong presence in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.[16] The DFL has lost support in traditional DFL strongholds such as the Iron Range since 2016.[17]

Current elected officials

Federal

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives

Out of the eight seats Minnesota is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, four are held by members of the DFL.

State

Statewide

State legislative leaders

Municipal

Mayors

Leadership

  • Chair: Ken Martin (since 2011)
  • Party Vice Chair: Marge Hoffa (since 2011)
  • Second Vice Chair: Shivanthi Sathanandan (since 2021)
  • Treasurer: Leah Midgarden (since 2021)
  • Secretary: Ceri Everett (since 2021)
  • Outreach Officer: Cheniqua Johnson (since 2021)

Historical party chairs

Electoral history

Federal

U.S. Senate

Year Candidate Votes % Won
2006 Amy Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.1 Yes
2008 Al Franken 1,212,629 42.0 Yes
2012 Amy Klobuchar 1,854,595 65.2 Yes
2014 Al Franken 1,053,205 53.2 Yes
2018 Amy Klobuchar 1,566,174 60.3 Yes
2018 (sp) Tina Smith 1,370,540 53.0 Yes
2020 Tina Smith 1,566,522 48.7 Yes
2024 Amy Klobuchar TBD TBD TBD

U.S. House

Election Votes % Seats (MN) ±
2004 1,399,624 51.4
4 / 8
Steady 0
2006 1,152,621 52.9
5 / 8
Increase 1
2008 1,612,480 57.5
5 / 8
Steady 0
2010 1,002,026 47.9
4 / 8
Decrease 1
2012 985,760 55.5
5 / 8
Increase 1
2014 985,760 50.2
5 / 8
Steady 0
2016 1,434,590 50.2
5 / 8
Steady 0
2018 1,420,748 55.1
5 / 8
Steady 0
2020 1,554,373 48.7
4 / 8
Decrease 1
2022 1,250,479 50.1
4 / 8
Steady 0
2024 TBD TBD

State

Governor

Year Candidate Votes % Won
1998 Skip Humphrey 587,528 28.1 No
2002 Roger Moe 821,268 36.5 No
2006 Mike Hatch 1,007,460 45.7 No
2010 Mark Dayton 919,232 43.6 Yes
2014 Mark Dayton 989,113 50.1 Yes
2018 Tim Walz 1,393,096 53.8 Yes
2022 Tim Walz 1,312,349 52.3 Yes

Minnesota Senate

Election Votes % Seats ± Majority
1967 1,024,624 51.9
49 / 67
Yes
1980 1,024,624 49.3
46 / 67
Decrease 3 Yes
1982 951,287 51.8
42 / 67
Decrease 4 Yes
1986 765,584 52.6
47 / 67
Increase 5 Yes
1990 990,513 53.7
46 / 67
Decrease 1 Yes
1992 1,247,594 53.0
45 / 67
Decrease 1 Yes
1996 1,129,095 51.1
42 / 67
Decrease 3 Yes
2000 1,219,497 49.6
39 / 67
Decrease 3 Yes
2002 1,080,975 49.7
35 / 67
Decrease 4 Yes
2006 1,183,319 55.3
44 / 67
Increase 6 Yes
2010 1,005,132 48.9
30 / 67
Decrease 16 No
2012 1,532,065 55.8
39 / 67
Increase 9 Yes
2016 1,409,775 50.1
33 / 67
Decrease 6 No
2020 1,577,523 49.8
33 / 67
Steady 0 No
2022 1,239,682 50.7
34 / 67
Increase 1 Yes

Minnesota House

Election Votes % Seats ± Majority
2002 1,034,046 47.8
52 / 134
Decrease 11 No
2004 1,381,412 51.2
66 / 134
Increase 13 No
2006 1,169,298 54.9
85 / 134
Increase 19 Yes
2008 1,516,633 54.9
87 / 134
Increase 2 Yes
2010 995,853 48.5
62 / 134
Decrease 25 No
2012 1,468,364 53.7
73 / 134
Increase 11 Yes
2014 944,961 49.3
62 / 134
Decrease 11 No
2016 1,366,375 49.1
57 / 134
Decrease 4 No
2018 1,388,938 54.4
75 / 134
Increase 18 Yes
2020 1,601,357 51.1
70 / 134
Decrease 5 Yes
2022 1,237,520 50.9
70 / 134
Steady 0 Yes
2024 TBD TBD TBD

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  2. ^ a b "DFL Minnesota Home – MN Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party". DFL Minnesota. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Nathanson, Iric (February 26, 2016). "The caucus that changed history: 1948's battle for control of the DFL". Minnesota Post.
  4. ^ "Democrats, F-L, Complete Fusion". The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota). April 15, 1944. p. Saturday Page 1.
  5. ^ a b “DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR PARTY.” n.d. Minnesota Historical Society. Accessed May 26, 2023. http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00586.xml .
  6. ^ Mitau, G. Theodore (1955). "The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Schism of 1948". Minnesota History. 34 (5): 187–194. ISSN 0026-5497.
  7. ^ Loughlin, Sean (October 25, 2002). "Wellstone Made Mark as a Liberal Champion". CNN. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  8. ^ "'Transformational' and also 'bonkers:' Minnesota Legislature ends big session". MinnPost. May 23, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  9. ^ a b ""It's a good day for freedoms": Walz signs bills on reproductive freedom and trans refuge, ban on conversion therapy". www.cbsnews.com. April 27, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  10. ^ "Weed, abortion, paid leave, rebates and taxes: A look at what MN lawmakers got done this year". Duluth News Tribune. May 26, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  11. ^ Turtinen, Melissa (May 26, 2023). "Barack Obama tweeted about Minnesota as reason you should vote". FOX 9. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  12. ^ "Community Caucuses and Outreach Organizations". DFL Minnesota. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  13. ^ a b Masadde, Mohmud (June 21, 2016). "Large Muslim Community in Minnesota Observes Ramadan". Voice of America. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  14. ^ "What Is The History Behind Minnesota's Somali-American Community?". CBS Minnesota. July 23, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  15. ^ Orrick, Dave (November 7, 2018). "This map shows the DFL dominated the suburbs. How'd they do it?". Twin Cities. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  16. ^ Orenstein, Walker (June 16, 2023). "The DFL's legislative majority is concentrated in the Twin Cities metro. In a consequential session, what did that mean for Greater Minnesota?". MinnPost. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  17. ^ Orenstein, Walker (October 11, 2022). "Will the Iron Range finally go red? Control of Legislature could hinge on 7 seats in northeastern Minnesota". MinnPost. Retrieved May 6, 2024.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 30 June 2024, at 03:03
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