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Minnesota 2018 Race

Election Date: 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Senate Candidates

Sen. Tina Smith (D), Endorsed

A proven leader who’s dedicated her career to advancing women’s health and rights

[Planned Parenthood]l is an organization that is deeply trusted to be there for women, men, and families when it’s needed, and that’s something I’m very proud of.

— Tina Smith

Source: Minnesota Star Tribune

Throughout Tina Smith’s career, her mission has been to advocate and work for women. From her work as a vice president at Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) to her work fighting for paid family leave as Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, Smith has long been a champion for women and families. If Smith is re-elected to the Senate, she will keep up this important work.

Why We Support Tina Smith

  • She stands up against attacks on our health care from the Trump administration and congressional Republicans

  • She is a strong supporter of expanding paid parental leave

  • She’s been fighting for Planned Parenthood her whole career –– as vice president at Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota; as lieutenant governor; and as U.S. senator

Tina Smith on the Issues:


Smith is a tireless fighter for access to safe, legal abortion. As senator, Smith recently opposed a bill introduced in Congress that would ban abortion at 20 weeks. As a vice president at PPMNS from 2003 to 2006, Smith fought several anti-abortion bills. She fought against Minnesota’s “Positive Alternatives Act,” which is designed to limit women’s reproductive health options and fund anti-abortion organizations, known as crisis pregnancy centers, which intentionally mislead women about their health care options.

Smith fought the Minnesota’s 2003 “Women’s Right to Know” law, which required women to receive dangerous, mandatory anti-abortion counseling 24 hours before getting an abortion. Smith also led the charge to oppose a 2005 South Dakota TRAP law aimed at restricting abortion access. TRAP laws are severe and medically unnecessary, and they’re often pushed by anti-abortion politicians under the guise of "women's health.”

Birth Control

Smith understands that “birth control is essential health care for women.” That’s why she opposes President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate, which allowed more than 62 million people in the United States, including 1.1 million Minnesotans, to access no-copay birth control. Smith knows well that “women deserve economic opportunity and fairness as well as reproductive freedom.”

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

As a former vice president of PPMNS, Smith has unique, firsthand experience in standing up for Planned Parenthood patients. In this role, Smith helped develop the organization’s education and outreach programs and worked to provide over 50,000 Minnesotans with essential health services, like STI testing and cancer screenings every year.

Recently, Smith fought against proposals to deny organizations like Planned Parenthood Title X funds. She describes Planned Parenthood as “an organization that is deeply trusted to be there for women, men, and families when it’s needed.”

Health Care Access

Smith is dedicated to protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, which one in eight Minnesota adults rely on, and which she describes as “a lifeline to thousands of Minnesotans.” She opposes repealing the ACA, which would cut Medicaid and restrict women’s reproductive health care access. When it was revealed that President Donald Trump’s administration was considering lifetime Medicaid caps, Smith described them as “the worst kind of policy — one that undermines the purpose of Medicaid and hurts people who may not have other care options.”

Health Equity for All

Smith advocates for parental leave for Americans, “no matter where they work.” As lieutenant governor, Smith supported expanding parental leave policies in Minnesota. She supports immigrant rights and called out President Donald Trump for having “held Dreamers hostage.”

If Smith is re-elected senator, she will continue working toward passing anti-gun violence legislation. She has pledged to never take money from the NRA.

Karin Housley (R)

An anti-choice Trump loyalist who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act

I think sometimes when we legislate to help women, we actually aren’t helping them.

—Karin Housley

Source: The Huffington Post

Electing Karin Housley to the U.S. Senate would be harmful for women in Minnesota and across the country. In the Minnesota state Senate, Housley supported four different bills that ban or restrict abortion access — and she co-authored two of them herself.

After Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) was sworn into office, Housley attacked Smith, writing that Smith’s work at Planned Parenthood “gives reason to be concerned as to whether she will stand up for everyday Minnesota values.”

Housley has openly praised President Donald Trump, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Tucker Carlson — three anti-abortion men who openly express their desire to turn back the clock on women’s health.

Why We Oppose Karin Housley

  • She supported four different bills that ban or restrict abortion access

  • She claimed that Sen. Tina Smith’s work at Planned Parenthood “gives reason to be concerned as to whether she will stand up for everyday Minnesota values.”

  • She wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Karin Housley on the Issues:


It comes as no surprise that Housley is endorsed by some of the largest anti-abortion PACs and groups in the country, including the Susan B. Anthony list. In the Minnesota state Senate, Housley supported four different bills that ban or restrict abortion access, co-authoring two of them herself.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Housley is seriously out of touch with the over 50,000 Minnesotans who get the care they need at Planned Parenthood health centers in her state every year. After Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) was sworn into office, Housley attacked Smith, writing that Smith’s work at Planned Parenthood — bringing essential health services, like STI testing and cancer screenings, to patients — “gives reason to be concerned as to whether she will stand up for everyday Minnesota values.” Not only is Housley wrong, but she’s also invalidating the experience of tens of thousands of Planned Parenthood patients.

Health Care Access

Housley wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which she claims “made life a lot harder.” When Housley was asked what she would replace it with, she dodged the question, saying, “those issues are coming.” Congress’s last attempt to repeal the ACA would have taken health care away from 366,000 Minnesotans and put coverage at risk for 900,000 other Minnesotans covered by Medicaid.

Health Equity for All

From wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to invalidating Planned Parenthood patients, it’s clear that equality and equity in health care is not one of Housley’s priorities. The same goes for LGBTQ rights. In 2013, Housley voted against Minnesota’s legalization of gay marriage.

House District 02 Candidates

Angie Craig, Endorsed

A self-made woman who is laser focused on expanding Minnesotans’ health care access

I support full reproductive rights for women and access to contraception and family planning services. No one should ever come between a woman and her doctor when making these decisions.

—Angie Craig (Source: Angie Craig for Congress)


Angie Craig was raised by a single mom in a mobile home and put herself through college. With her working-class roots, Craig knows what it’s like to be unable to afford health insurance. Now, she wants to ensure that all Minnesotans have access to health care — including reproductive care. That’s just one reason why Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed her.

Another reason: Craig won’t stand for sexist rhetoric. After learning that her opponent called women "sluts," Craig said, “I am deeply disappointed by Rep. Jason Lewis' remarks about women and the example they provide to the young men of our nation, including my four sons… In Congress, I will fight like hell to make sure that women have the respect and opportunities they deserve so all of our families can thrive."

While Craig was offended by Rep. Lewis’ vitriol, she’s even “more offended by the votes he’s taken in this Congress,” such as his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Craig has pledged to fight anti-women’s health policies and protect access to care. It’s no wonder she’s seen a wave of women coming out to support her campaign.

Why We Support Angie Craig

  • She’d be the first openly LGBTQ mom in the U.S. House, first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Minnesota, and the first woman to represent Minnesota’s 2nd District.

  • She spoke out against the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • She supports Roe v. Wade and access to safe, legal abortion.

Angie Craig on the Issues:


Craig has denounced attempts by anti-abortion members of Congress to chip away at the constitutional protections provided by Roe v. Wade. “Let's not turn back the clock on a woman's right to access comprehensive reproductive health care in this country,” Craig said.

Birth Control

Craig strongly supports access to affordable birth control. She’s pledged to protect the ACA’s no-copay birth control guarantee, and she spoke out against the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on Title X — the nation’s program for affordable birth control.

Craig opposed the devastating Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which allows bosses to deny birth control coverage to their employees. When Rep. Lewis framed the case as a moral issue, not a government issue, Craig denounced his distortion:  “This isn't about anything other than a woman's right to health care. In the United States, 98 percent of women have used contraception as part of both family planning and for other reasons. So the idea that a company or a religious institution can block access to health care for a woman — that's the policy issue.”

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Craig has stood with Planned Parenthood time and time again, and she promises to do everything in her power to protect access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Minnesota’s 2nd District includes both suburbs and rural communities, and Craig understands that Planned Parenthood plays an outsized role in helping women in rural areas get access to the health care they need.

As Craig said: “Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to defund Planned Parenthood, and at every turn he has sought to undermine women’s access to these crucial services. Now, more than ever, we need leaders in Washington who will fight to protect this important institution, because anyone fighting against protecting women’s health is fighting against achieving equality.”

Health Care Access

Craig supports the ACA, including protections for people who have pre-existing conditions and no-copay birth control coverage. She has pledged to fight to protect Minnesotans’ health care coverage and make sure affordable coverage is available to everyone.

“We cannot return to the bad old days of [no protections for] preexisting conditions, women paying more for the same coverage as men, and insurance companies dropping your coverage when you get sick,” Craig said.

Health Equity for All

Craig believes everyone should have the right to decide when, and if, they want to become a parent. She had to fight to become a mother herself: In 2000, she sued for custody of her adopted son. She and her wife won the case, which helped pave the way for same-sex couple adoption.

Craig also believes in leveling the gender-pay gap. She supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, and — as a top leader at St. Jude Medical — Craig launched a program called Women In Business to help elevate more women to management positions.

Rep. Jason Lewis (R), Incumbent

A sexist politician who is too extreme for Minnesota

[I]t used to be that… We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can't call her a slut?

—Jason Lewis

Source: Star Tribune

Rep. Jason Lewis has consistently shown complete disrespect for women: calling women “sluts,” demeaning women’s ability to reason, and voting time and again to restrict access to reproductive health careHere are just a few of the disparaging comments Rep. Lewis made about women and LGBTQ communities on his radio show from 2009 to 2014:

  • Lamented that it’s no longer acceptable to call women "sluts"

  • Said people who vote based on access to birth control aren’t human

  • Claimed women are “more guided by emotion than reason”

  • Called voters who care about abortion and gay marriage "non-thinking"

  • Equated gay couples with rapists

  • And a lot more

These comments are completely unacceptable. Yet Rep. Lewis doesn’t regret saying them, and his voting record proves it. Maybe he’d be less out of touch if he listened to his constituents instead of blocking them from his town halls.

From reprehensible quotes to reprehensible votes, Rep. Lewis has shown that he doesn’t respect women, and he doesn’t deserve to represent Minnesotans.

Why We Oppose Jason Lewis

  • He voted to gut birth control protections in the ACA

  • He repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood

  • He’s anti-abortion and voted to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.

Rep. Jason Lewis on the Issues:


Rep. Lewis has voted for a slew of bills to chip away at access to safe, legal abortion. For example, he voted for a dangerous, nationwide 20-week abortion ban. He also cosponsored legislation to limit access to telemedicine, a form of live video-based care that gives patients convenient access to providers and specialists — particularly reproductive health care providers.

Recently, Rep. Lewis praised Brett Kavanaugh — the Supreme Court nominee who poses a grave threat to Roe v. Wade — as a “great fit” for the Court.

Birth Control

Rep. Lewis — who said caring about birth control coverage makes women “ignorant” — is “vehemently opposed” to the Affordable Care Act's birth control benefit, which has benefitted over 62 million women. He also supported the Hobby Lobby, decision allowing some employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Rep. Lewis voted repeatedly to “defund” Planned Parenthood and block patients who rely on government programs from lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, annual exams, STD testing and treatment, and other preventive reproductive health care. If Planned Parenthood were “defunded,” 4,976 constituents in Rep. Lewis’ district would immediately lose access to the health care provider of their choice.

Health Care Access

Rep. Lewis voted multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a move that would have taken away health care from 25,800 people in his district. It would have also left more than 1.1 million Minnesota women and girls with pre-existing conditions at risk of losing their health insurance coverage.

Health Equity for All

Rep. Lewis opposes Medicaid for all. He called Medicaid — which covers 1 in 5 women of reproductive-age — “fiscally reckless” and “severely irresponsible.”

House District 03 Candidates

Dean Phillips, Endorsed

A women’s health champion who believes everyone has a right to affordable health care coverage

As a member of Congress, I will champion the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and the advancement of women’s health, economic security, and reproductive freedom.

—Dean Phillips

Source: Phillips for Congress

Dean Phillips is known for driving around Minnesota in a vintage milk truck, doling out strong coffee and even stronger convictions about expanding health care access: “I believe that our country should make the moral decision to ensure that every single American has affordable and accessible health care when they need it,” he said at a debate with his opponent, Rep. Erik Paulsen. The bottom line for Phillips: “No matter your age, your income, your geography, or your condition — preexisting or otherwise — [nobody] should be denied care.”

Minnesota's 3rd District is ready for a leader like Phillips, who will listen to them on important issues and represent their values in Congress. That’s why Phillips is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Why We Support Dean Phillips

  • He unquestionably supports access to safe, legal abortion.

  • He will fight against efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

  • He stands with Planned Parenthood.

Dean Phillips on the Issues:


Phillips has made clear that he will fight to protect Roe v. Wade, access to abortion, and “women's fundamental freedom to make their own decisions about their reproductive health.”

To Phillips, the idea that women should have control over their own bodies is a no-brainer. After a crowd applauded him for saying so, he responded: “The fact that THAT has to be met with applause — like ‘yeah I wish more people felt like that’ — is freaking ridiculous!”

Birth Control

Phillips fully supports a woman’s right to control her own body. He promises to protect the access to no-copay birth control coverage the Affordable Care Act guaranteed, and he pledges to fight efforts to restrict access to affordable birth control.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Philips holds a "fierce belief in the mission of Planned Parenthood." He opposes efforts by anti-abortion politicians to block patients who rely on public programs from accessing preventive care — like birth control, STD tests and Pap smears — at Planned Parenthood health centers, and he has pledged to protect this access.

Health Care Access

Phillips decided to run for office when incumbent Rep. Paulsen voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Phillips foresaw the harm such anti-health care policies would bring to Minnesotans and the country, and he had to do something about it.

Phillips believes health care access is “a moral right,” and he wants to represent Minnesota’s 3rd District to protect that right. As a business leader, he saw first-hand how the Affordable Care Act helped get more people insured. He wants to build on that success.

Health Equity for All

Phillips understands that a big wage gap exists between men and women, particularly women of color. He often recalls that his mom used to wear a green “ERA Now’ pin decades ago. Today, he shares her passion to eliminate the wage gap. Phillips pledged to do all he can to finally pass the Equal Rights Amendment — which would end legal distinctions that still exist between men and women in the workplace, when they go through a divorce, and in property ownership — and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which combats wage discrimination.

Phillips also believes in equitable access to both parenthood and career opportunities. He is fighting for paid leave policies that would let employees care for a newborn without the risk of losing their jobs.

Erik Paulsen (R), Incumbent

An out-of-touch incumbent

We will absolutely one day be able to celebrate America's unborn meeting the full measure of life... let's make [banning abortion] happen.

—Erik Paulsen

Source: Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life anti-abortion rally

Rep. Erik Paulsen is more concerned about his congressional campaign than ensuring all Minnesotans get basic health care. In fact, he’s been so busy working to dismantle health care access that he hasn’t held a public town hall with his constituents since 2010 (the year after he took  office).

Paulsen is so out of touch, he placed roadblock  after roadblock in front of women and girls who need reproductive health care — then tried to use “their struggle against unique obstacles” as a talking point. His anti-health equity, anti-abortion, and anti-Planned Parenthood views are simply too extreme and unpopular for the people he represents in the Minneapolis suburbs.

Why We Oppose Erik Paulsen

  • Paulsen wants to ban abortion.

  • He wants to let employers interfere in your reproductive health decisions.

  • He rates  0 percent on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund scorecard.

Erik Paulsen on the Issues:


Paulsen has spent his work weeks attacking the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion — while his weekend plans include attending anti-abortion events, such as the March for Life.

He’s voted four times for a dangerous, nationwide 20-week abortion ban. In addition, he voted for harmful anti-abortion bills based on junk science that use scare tactics to criminalize abortion providers.

Paulsen also voted to severely restrict insurance coverage for abortion. That includes a bill to ban federal coverage for abortion in cases of rape or incest (which goes even farther than the existing ban), as well as a measure to ban people who get health care subsidies from buying insurance that covers abortion.

Birth Control

Paulsen doesn't support a woman’s right to control her own body. His votes against the ACA would have taken away guaranteed, no-copay birth control coverage writ large, while his votes to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood would keep the full range of birth control options out of reach.

Protecting Planned Parenthood Patients

Paulsen refuses to acknowledge the crucial role Planned Parenthood plays in his district, despite his constituents’ attempt after attempt to show support for Planned Parenthood.

Over 16,000 people in Paulsen’s district rely on Planned Parenthood health centers each year, and 40 percent of those patients depend on Medicaid. But Paulsen has voted 14 times to block patients — including those who rely on Medicaid — from preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Thousands of Paulsen’s most vulnerable constituents have no other place to go for quality, affordable care. Paulsen’s actions could mean people delay or go without care for STDs, cancer screenings, and birth control.

Health Care Access

Paulsen voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would have taken health care coverage away from 27,700 people in his district.

Statewide, upending the ACA could put nearly 1.2 million Minnesota women and girls with pre-existing conditions at risk, as well as strip health insurance from hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. But Paulsen would rather tow the party line than give his constituents the care they need.

Health Equity for All

Paulsen doesn’t care if his constituents are treated unfairly. In fact, he sides with powerful bosses in discriminating against any employee who makes health choices they don’t like. Paulsen voted twice to overturn a DC bill that protects employees in the city from workplace discrimination against their reproductive health care decisions, such as firing staff for using in vitro fertilization or birth control.

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