How a Long-Sought Bill Could Make Construction Work Less Deadly

Carlos Moncayo, 22, died seven years ago at a Manhattan construction site. A bill on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk aims to make conditions safer for workers like him.

Carlos Moncayo was just 22 when he was crushed to death by thousands of pounds of dirt at a construction site in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.

More than seven years later, a construction safety bill named after him could become law, if Gov. Kathy Hochul chooses to sign it. The legislation, known as Carlos’s Law, would dramatically raise the fines faced by corporations for construction accidents that result in criminal convictions.

While the bill passed both houses of the State Legislature on the final day of the session last month, Ms. Hochul’s office has said only that she was reviewing it.

Prosecutions for injuries or deaths on construction sites are exceedingly rare nationwide, but the Moncayo case was an exception. The Manhattan district attorney’s office pursued charges, and the general contractor, Harco Construction, was found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

The company was ultimately sentenced to pay just $10,000 because of state-imposed limits on corporate penalties. The district attorney at the time, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., denounced the outcome, saying the fine was merely “Monopoly money” for the company.

Supporters of Carlos’s Law say that the specter of much higher fines in such cases would deter contractors from cutting corners on safety, sometimes with perilous consequences.

The city’s Department of Buildings has recorded 84 construction-related fatalities since 2015. Statistics shows that deaths are more likely at nonunion sites, where workers may face pressure to comply with unreasonable demands.

Diana Florence, who served as the lead prosecutor on Mr. Moncayo’s case, said in an interview that many construction injuries and even deaths are not properly investigated from the outset.

But the Moncayo case hinged on a coincidence: A police supervisor who responded to the scene had once worked in construction, and he immediately recognized that the pit that Mr. Moncayo was working in was not reinforced, as it should have been.

“He realized that the trench was basically a ticking time bomb,” Ms. Florence said.

Prosecutors would later argue that supervisors had ordered Mr. Moncayo, who was undocumented and did not belong to a union, to go into the pit despite the danger, because the project was behind schedule.

The site they were working on, near the High Line, had once been the restaurant Pastis and was being turned into a Restoration Hardware store.

The case spurred a yearslong effort to increase the fines in such cases and to expand liability so that companies can be held responsible for the actions of a greater range of employees.

Carlos’s Law was first introduced in 2017 and passed the State Assembly that year, but was held up in the State Senate by opposition from Republicans and the real estate industry.

This year, though, there was a breakthrough. The Mason Tenders’ District Council, an alliance of construction laborers’ unions and a major force behind the bill, reached agreement in May with the Real Estate Board of New York on adjustments to the legislation, including changes to provisions affecting supervisors and foremen.

The version that passed allows the courts to decide restitution without a cap and raises minimum fines to $500,000 for felonies and $300,000 for misdemeanors in cases involving injuries or deaths.

“We think that’s going to catch the attention of the rogue developers and contractors that put their workers’ lives at risk in the pursuit of profit,” said Mike Hellstrom, business manager for the mason tenders.

In a joint statement after the bill’s passage, Mr. Hellstrom and James Whelan, the president of the Real Estate Board, said they had “every intention of building on the partnership between our organizations that contributed to this legislative achievement.”

Ms. Hochul is up for election in November and enjoys strong support from organized labor, leading supporters of Carlos’s Law to believe that she will sign it into law soon. The deadline to act on any of the more than 1,000 bills that passed both chambers during the last session is the end of the year.

Collecting comprehensive data on criminal cases stemming from workplace injuries and deaths is complicated. Federal regulators occasionally refer cases to the Justice Department for prosecutions but must meet a high bar of evidence for “willful violations” that cause the death of an employee.

State and local prosecutors may bring charges, as they did in the Moncayo case. In fact, months after Mr. Moncayo’s death, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and several other agencies, including the city Department of Investigation, announced the creation of a Construction Fraud Task Force to focus on misconduct amid a boom in new construction.

The current district attorney, Alvin Bragg, has urged Ms. Hochul to sign Carlos’s Law, which he said would establish “meaningful deterrence.”

“Corporations must be held accountable when a worker is injured or killed due to unsafe conditions,” Mr. Bragg said in a statement.

The fines in question are separate from those imposed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration or local agencies for violations at work sites.

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group that pushed for the bill, has called for other prosecutors across the state to follow the lead of the Manhattan district attorney’s office and be more proactive on prosecuting such cases.

Supporters of Carlos’s Law, including NYCOSH, say that even if prosecutions remain the exception, the law would restrain unscrupulous builders, by raising the costs associated with worker injuries.

“We want cases of Carlos’s Law to be rare because we want employers to be responsible and to follow every applicable safety and health standard and not put workers’ lives in danger,” said Charlene Obernauer, the group’s executive director.

Diana Moreno, the interim executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, a Queens-based nonprofit, said the bill’s signing would address a “shameful injustice.”

“The risk of having to pay a substantial fine, a minimum of $500,000 under this new law, will finally hold developers and construction companies accountable and incentivize them to uphold health and safety standards,” she said.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who sponsored the bill in the Assembly alongside James Sanders Jr. in the Senate, said that the issue was personal for her. About 25 years ago, her brother Wagner fell off a scaffold while on a construction job and was left permanently disabled.

She now represents the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and counts among her constituents many undocumented immigrants from the Caribbean and from countries in Africa who work in construction.

“You have a lot of construction firms that take advantage of immigrant workers, pay low, do not train them, do not provide a safe area for them to work because they don’t value their lives,” she said. “They know that these immigrants do not have the resources to pursue a lawsuit or claim, so they take advantage.”

Before putting in her vote for the bill, State Senator Jessica Ramos read the names of workers who had died in New York since Mr. Moncayo, noting that most of them were Latino, and many were her neighbors in Queens.

“It is going to be lifesaving for families in my district,” she said of the bill.

Francisco Moya, now a member of the City Council representing roughly the same area of Queens as Ms. Ramos, helped write the bill when he was in the Assembly.

He also felt a personal connection to the Moncayo case. He and Mr. Moncayo shared Ecuadorean roots and lived just blocks away from one another.

“This is a victory in the fight to make sure that every construction worker that leaves their house in the morning for work is alive to make it home for dinner,” he said.

(New York Times)

Who’s Running in Minnesota in 2022: Statewide Offices and U.S. House

It’s a big election year in Minnesota: the governor and all the other statewide constitutional offices are all up for election in 2022, along with each of Minnesota’s U.S. House seats and all 201 members of the Minnesota Legislature. For the latter two groups, they will be running in brand new districts.

With so many offices on the ballot and multiple candidates declared for each of them, MinnPost is keeping track of who’s running in Minnesota. This page will keep track of candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and each of Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats. (We’re also keeping track of candidates for the Minnesota Legislature.) This post will be updated throughout the year as candidates are added to and leave the race.

Know about a candidate who’s running that you don’t see listed here? Let us know by emailing whosrunning@minnpost.com.


Gov. Tim Walz is trying to avoid a political superlative as he enters the 2022 election — being the first governor since 1990 to seek a second term and not win. While Minnesota has been a blue state in statewide elections and hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 2007, Walz is entering a campaign with two challenges — one traditional and one unique.

This election is the first since Joe Biden was elected president and the party of the sitting president usually does poorly in the first midterm, especially in congressional races. This is also the first election since the COVID pandemic hit the globe and GOP challengers are making COVID response as well as crime, inflation and education their main issues. Former state Sen. Scott Jensen emerged from a field of Republican candidates by winning a ninth-ballot endorsement from the state GOP convention.


photo of Tim Walz

Tim Walz

Lives in: St. Paul

Walz was a public school teacher in Mankato when he ran for Congress from the First Congressional District. After serving 12 years in Congress, he entered the open DFL primary for governor and beat two rivals before defeating Jeff Johnson. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan competes the ticket.

Ole Savior



photo of Scott Jensen

Scott Jensen

Lives in: Chaska

Jensen is a family doctor who entered politics by winning a GOP-leaning state Senate seat in 2016. After one term as a maverick who worked with both Republicans and DFLers, Jensen decided not to seek a second term. Shortly after the pandemic began, Jensen became a national figure for his views questioning COVID science. Matt Birk is on the ticket as lieutenant governor. He was endorsed by the state GOP after nine ballots

photo of Joyce Lynn Lacey

Joyce Lynn Lacey


Kent Edwards is the lieutenant governor candidate on this ticket

photo of Bob Carney, Jr.

Bob Carney, Jr.


Carney has run for office before, for governor in 2010, 2018 and again this year, for U.S. Senate in 2020 and for city offices, including a 2021 run for mayor of Minneapolis. He called for then-President Trump to resign or be impeached in 2018. After an unsuccessful run for the unexpired term in the 1st Congressional District, Carney filed for governor with Captain Jack Sparrow as his running mate.

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Steve Patterson

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Steve Patterson is a small business owner and was a Healthcare Security Officer during the pandemic. Patterson says he wants to do more than just legalize Marijuana. Other priorities include tax breaks for Minnesotans working over 40 hours per week, helping people gain independence who are currently on state aid, and keeping small businesses open and thriving. Matt Huff is Patterson’s running mate

Darrell Paulsen

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Ed Engelmann is Paulsen’s running mate

photo of James McCaskel

James McCaskel

David Sandbeck is McCaskel’s running mate

photo of Chris Wright

Chris Wright

L.C. Lawrence Converse is Wright’s running mate


photo of Hugh McTavish

Hugh McTavish


McTavish is a biochemistry PhD and patent attorney who describes himself as an inventor and business owner who has companies that produce a cancer drug and a cold sore treatment. Recently, McTavish has created a Twitter account and written a book that asserts that pandemic lockdowns did more harm than good and caused more deaths than they prevented. His lieutenant governor running mate is Mike Winter.

Attorney General

Former Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison is up for re-election after narrowly beating Republican Doug Wardlow by less than four points in the race for Attorney General in 2018. In his first term, Ellison’s office led the prosecution of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of second-degree murder in killing George Floyd. Ellison’s office also led the prosecution of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter, who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the killing of Daunte Wright. Republicans have criticized Ellison, however, for crime and also riots in the wake of Floyd’s murder and for enforcement of Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders closing businesses earlier in the pandemic. Vaccine requirements are also likely to be a theme in the race. Endorsed GOP candidate Jim Schultz will first have to defeat Wardlow in the August primary. Wardlow had pledged not to run if another candidate was endorsed but went back on that pledge.


photo of Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison

Lives in: Minneapolis

Ellison was elected Attorney General in 2018 after serving six terms in the U.S. House representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. In addition to prosecuting Chauvin and Potter, Ellison has highlighted his efforts to lower pharmaceutical drug prices, sue opioid companies and more.

Bill Dahn


photo of Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow


Wardlow ran against Ellison in 2018, but lost. He is trying for a second time, running on a platform aimed at promoting police and criticizing Ellison for what he says was a lax response to crime and rioting following the Floyd murder. Wardlow is an attorney for MyPillow, the company run by prominent election fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

photo of Jim Schultz

Jim Schultz

Lives in: Plymouth

Schultz has worked in the past for Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis and previously served on a Hennepin County Capital Budget task force after being appointed by then-Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. He has also criticized Ellison for his views on police reform and the response of DFLers to riots after the Floyd murder.

Sharon Anderson

Secretary of State

One of five statewide elected offices in Minnesota, secretary of state is not one that gets a lot of attention at election time. Incumbent Steve Simon was narrowly elected to an open seat in 2014 and easily re-elected in 2018. But the unsubstantiated claims of vote theft by Donald Trump that have been adopted by many Republicans under the phrase “election integrity” have brought this ministerial office into the mainstream.

Simon has done battle with legislative Republicans, especially Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer who served two terms in the office, over how elections are run and changes made during the COVID pandemic to increase access to mail ballots.

In addition to running state elections with local elections officials, the office records business incorporation documents, runs the Safe at Home address confidentiality program and processes applications for appointments to state boards and commissions. With former conservative think tank attorney Kim Crockett in the race, election security will be the top issue. Crockett has spent the last 18 months challenging election results across the U.S.


photo of Steve Simon

Steve Simon

Lives in: Hopkins

Simon is an attorney who has worked as an assistant state attorney general and private practice. He was first elected to the state House in 2004 and served until his campaign for secretary of state.

photo of Steve Carlson

Steve Carlson


I’m a linguist and will be running a multi-lingual campaign, really building on what the MNSOS website already does. I’ve begun that multilingual effort by tweeting in many of Minnesota’s languages, “What are the best election laws for Minnesota?” and will be providing answers to that question as broadly as possible, so as to involve the whole state.


photo of Kim Crockett

Kim Crockett

Lives in: Excelsior

Crockett is an attorney who was an attorney and policy advocate for the conservative Center of the American Experiment and later for the Minnesota Voters Alliance. In both positions Crockett has argued that elections in Minnesota and nationally are not secure enough.

photo of Erik van Mechelen

Erik van Mechelen


The candidate is an author and writer turned reporter, analyst, and activist since November 3, 2020. He says he works daily to raise awareness about “the controlled nature of our modern electronic voting system.”


The state auditor’s office primarily oversees more than $40 billion in spending by local governments, but also sits on state boards tied to investments, economic development, pensions and housing. The auditor is also on the state’s executive council, which can vote to continue a governor’s emergency authority, among other powers. Democrat Julie Blaha beat Republican Pam Myhra by about six points for the job in 2018. Ryan Wilson, an attorney and founder of a medical device research firm in the GOP endorsed candidate but this office has also been the path for the legal marijuana parties to win at least 5 percent of the vote and qualify for major party status.


photo of Julie Blaha

Julie Blaha

Lives in: Ramsey

Incumbent Auditor Julie Blaha was elected to the position in 2018. Before becoming auditor, she was president of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota and secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO.


photo of Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson

Lives in: Maple Grove

Wilson, a constitutional law attorney who formerly ran a medical device research company, said he decided to run for auditor after recent reports of fraud in a nonprofit aimed at feeding children and cost overruns in the Southwest light-rail line. While the auditor doesn’t have oversight of those two issues, Wilson said he will root out cronyism in the position.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Will Finn

Tim Davis

Congressional District 1 Special Election

Following the death of Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnseota’s 1st District will hold a special election on Aug. 9 to determine which candidate will take his place. Former Trump USDA official Brad Finstad will go up against ex-Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger after the two advanced in the May 24 primary. The candidate who wins in August will have to run again to keep the seat in the November midterm election. Republicans are favored to hold the district.


photo of Brad Finstad

Brad Finstad


Brad Finstad served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for the 21B district from 2003 to 2008. After leaving the House, he served as a USDA Rural Development official during the Trump administration.


photo of Jeff Ettinger

Jeff Ettinger


Ettinger was the CEO of Hormel from 2005 until 2016 and currently chairs the Hormel Foundation, which supports initiatives like community college scholarships for Austin high school students. He also is co-chair of Gov. Tim Walz’s Minnesota Council on Economic Expansion and teaches at the University of Minnesota.

photo of Richard B. Reisdorf

Richard B. Reisdorf

Reisdorf is a military veteran, retiree and supporter of the Green Party who said cannabis shouldn’t be considered a “Schedule 1” drug federally along with substances like heroin. Reisdorf said marijuana is a “natural” and “God made” drug that can be used to help treat veterans instead of opiates that many are addicted to.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

photo of Haroun McClellan

Haroun McClellan

McClellan is an attorney and contracts manager at Mortenson Construction, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Congressional District 1

There is no incumbent in the 1st District after the death of Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, and there will be a contested primary race Aug. 9 to determine which DFL and Republican candidates will face off to serve this GOP-leaning district. Former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger and ex-Trump USDA official Brad Finstad are competing in a special election Aug. 9 to complete Hagedorn’s term, a contest held on the same day as the primary election for the regular midterm election in November. But the regularly scheduled election will be held under new district lines drawn following the 2020 Census, while the special election is under the old district boundaries.


photo of Brad Finstad

Brad Finstad

Lives in: New Ulm

Finstad was appointed Minnesota director for rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Donald Trump. Before that he served three terms in the Minnesota House and led the state Turkey Growers Association and the Center for Rural Policy and Development. Finstad won a crowded May primary for the special election to fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term.

photo of Jeremy Munson

Jeremy Munson


Munson is a state representative from Lake Crystal, first elected in 2018, who broke from the House Republican Caucus to start his own conservative bloc with three other legislators. He is known for voting against most government spending and “omnibus” bills that wrap many pieces of legislation into one bill. He also clashes with Republican leadership frequently. Munson came in second in the special election primary to serve out Hagedorn’s term.

photo of Matt Benda

Matt Benda


Benda is an agricultural law attorney and describes himself as a Republican party activist. He’s also past chair of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.


photo of Jeff Ettinger

Jeff Ettinger

Lives in: Austin

Ettinger was the CEO of Hormel from 2005 until 2016 and currently chairs the Hormel Foundation, which supports initiatives like community college scholarships for Austin high school students. He also is co-chair of Gov. Tim Walz’s Minnesota Council on Economic Expansion, teaches at the University of Minnesota, and is on the boards of Ecolab and The Toro Company. He won the May DFL primary for the special election by a wide margin.

George H. Kalberer


KTTC TV reported Kalberer runs a business Kalberer Capital Management.

photo of James Rainwater

James Rainwater


Rainwater is an attorney who runs a law and mediation firm and is a member of the Lake City Charter Commission. His website describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

photo of Brian Abrahamson

Brian Abrahamson

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Abrahamson’s website says he will give voice to progressive issues including cannabis legalization, Medicare for All and tuition-free education.

photo of Richard B. Reisdorf

Richard B. Reisdorf

Reisdorf is a military veteran, retiree and supporter of the Green Party who said cannabis shouldn’t be considered a “Schedule 1” drug federally along with substances like heroin. Reisdorf said marijuana is a “natural” and “God made” drug that can be used to help treat veterans instead of opiates that many are addicted to.

Congressional District 2

Democratic Rep. Angie Craig has held onto the 2nd District since she won in 2018, but the GOP has already listed CD2 as one of their primary targets for a midterm takeover. Republican Tyler Kistner lost to Craig in 2020 but is back with a vengence and has already raised more than $1.6 million in campaign funding.


photo of Angie Craig

Angie Craig

Lives in: Eagan

Craig is the current representative of Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. Craig started her career as a newspaper reporter and later worked her way up to become an executive at St. Jude Medical before running for Congress. Craig sits on several subcommittees including those in Agriculture, Energy and Commerce and Small business. Craig is a member of the LGBT community and co-chairs the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.


photo of Tyler Kistner

Tyler Kistner


Kistner is a Minnesota native who served nine years of active duty in the Marines before he and his wife Marie put roots down in Prior Lake. A main focus of Kistner’s campaign is education: his campaign website says he believes “the political indoctrination of our students in public schools must stop,” and that the teaching of critical race theory is unacceptable.

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

Patrick F. Bradley

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis

This candidate filed for office with the Secretary of State but no further information was available immediately about them.

Paula M. Overby

Overby is an IT director working in education, according to her website. She supports legalization of marijuana and some progressive policies like Medicare for All.

Congressional District 3

Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips defeated incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1961. Phillips won again in 2020 against Republican Kendall Qualls. (Qualls ran unsuccessfully this year for governor of Minnesota.) This year, Phillips faces a main challenge from Republican Tom Weiler, who is leaning heavily on his past military experience in his campaign strategy.


photo of Dean Phillips

Dean Phillips

Lives in: Deephaven

Phillips is the current representative of Minnesota’s Third Congressional District. Phillips first ran for Congress in 2018, when he defeated incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen. He held onto his seat in 2020, and currently serves on several subcommittees including those in Financial Services and Foreign Affairs. Phillips also serves on the House Committee on Ethics and is a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.


photo of Tom Weiler

Tom Weiler

Lives in: Plymouth

Weiler is a Navy veteran whose time in the military was cut short when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. Weiler now lives in Minnesota with his wife an dchildren.

Congressional District 4

Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum is a formidable opponent in congressional elections: McCollum has been in office since she wan the 2000 election and holds several powerful positions in Congress, including chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Despite being one of the more progressive members of Congress, McCollum faces a challenge from another candidate on the left. Amane Badhasso is running a campaign calling herself a more progressive alternative to McCollum.


photo of Betty McCollum

Betty McCollum

Lives in: St. Paul

McCollum is the current representative of Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District. McCollum first assumed office in 2001, and she has served on many committees and subcommittees over the years, most notably now as chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

photo of Amane Badhasso

Amane Badhasso


Badhasso was born in a rural village in Ethiopia, and her family fled ongoing violence in the country when she was a child, becoming refugees in Kenya and finally making it to safety in the United States. Badhasso is a community organizer and is running a campaign aiming to be a more progressive candidate than McCollum.

photo of Fasil Moghul

Fasil Moghul

Moghul is running on a platform that includes Medicare for All and a foreign policy agenda that calls for “direct military airstrikes” on “military installations” of the Syrian, Venezuelan, and North Korean governments, according to his website.


photo of May Lor Xiong

May Lor Xiong

Lives in: St. Paul

May Lor Xiong, a St. Paul resident, is running for Congress in the Fourth Congressional District as a Republican. According to her campaign website, she moved to the U.S. at age 8 as a Hmong refugee, and has worked as an ESL teacher and a real estate broker.

photo of Gene Rechtzigel

Gene Rechtzigel


Rechtzigel’s website says he was born in rural Minnesota and in 2020 he lost to McCollum by more than 130,000 votes after winning the Republican primary in the 4th District. His website says he will “stop the looting, stop the arson” and stop the “rioting” and he criticzies McCollum for PFAS chemicals in water in the district.

photo of Jerry Silver

Jerry Silver

Silver drives a semi-truck delivering mail from Eagan to LaCrosse, Wisconsin and has been a pastor. He has written a book about what he says was racism in the church and school where he was pastor and principal.

Congressional District 5

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar filed to run for the 5th District seat just five months before the 2018 election after six-term incumbent Keith Ellison announced he would not seek reelection. The Fifth District is one of the most Democratic in the Upper Midwest, and Omar won against GOP challenger Jennifer Zielinski with 78 percent of the vote in that first election and was re-elected in 2020 by a 40-point margin.


photo of Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar

Lives in: Minneapolis

Omar is the current Democratic representative of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. Omar took office in 2019 making a number of electoral firsts: She is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress

photo of Don Samuels

Don Samuels


Don Samuels first began a career in local politics when he joined the Minneapolis City Council in 2003. In the 2020 election, Samuels was an outspoken critic of the referendum effort to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department.

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AJ Kern

Kern’s candidacy is staked in large part on falsely questioning whether Omar is a U.S. Citizen. She was formerly a Benton County Planning Commissioner.

photo of Albert Ross

Albert Ross

Ross runs a construction business and his website says he became successful through Christ after struggling with addiction and homelessness.

Nate Schluter


This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was available about them.


photo of Cicely Davis

Cicely Davis

Lives in: Minneapolis

Davis is a Minneapolis native who is running against Omar on the premise that Minneapolis Democrats “manipulated racial division to gain power” and brought violence to the city.

photo of Royce White

Royce White

A native of the Rondo community of St. Paul, Royce White is a former professional basketball player who has received media attention for leading protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and for protesting against Uyghur genocide during an Big 3 postgame interview.

Guy T Gaskin


This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was available about them.

Congressional District 6

Since taking office in 2015, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer has continued to gain power in Congress. In 2019, he became the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans. Only one person — Jeanne Hendricks — filed to run against Emmer, and his odds look good for now. The 6th District has been a Republican stronghold for years, with Republicans holding the seat since 2003.


photo of Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer

Lives in: Delano

Emmer is the current representative of Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District. Emmer first took office in 2015 and has since been appointed as the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.


photo of Jeanne Hendricks

Jeanne Hendricks

Lives in: St. Louis Park

Hendricks is a nurse anesthetist. Hendricks worked as a volunteer on President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. She currently lives in St. Louis Park.

Congressional District 7

As a freshman member of Congress, Michelle Fischbach took over the 7th District from 30-year incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson. Despite Peterson’s long tenure, the district had been trending Republican for many years, which may play to Fischbach’s advantage as she seeks to retain the seat.


photo of Michelle Fischbach

Michelle Fischbach

Lives in: Paynesville

Fischbach is the current representative of Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. Fischbach was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and became the first female president of the Minnesota Senate in 2011. Fischbach also briefly served as lieutenant governor of Minnesota after then-Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate.


photo of Travis "Bull" Johnson

Travis “Bull” Johnson


Johnson is an Army veteran who settled in the Twin Cities area with his wife and three kids. In 2004, Johnson joined the Texas National Guard. He retired in 2018 and moved with his family to Beltrami, MN and settled on an 8-acre homestead.


photo of Jill Abahsain

Jill Abahsain

Lives in: Sauk Centre

Abahsain is the former mayor of Spicer and is currently director of the Sauk Centre History Museum and Research Center. She lost in a state Senate race to Republican Sen. Torrey Westrom in 2020.

photo of Alycia R. Gruenhagen

Alycia R. Gruenhagen

Gruenhagen’s Facebook page says she is a “pro-life, Pro-2nd Amendment conservative Democrat.” Gruenhagen ran and lost to Collin Peterson in the 2020 DFL primary in the 7th District.

Congressional District 8

For years, the area covered by northern Minnesota’s 8th District was firmly Democratic territory, with a strong labor vote reliably backing blue candidates. That Democratic hold wavered in 2010 when Republican Chip Cravaack defeated 17-term incumbent Jim Oberstar. Democrat Rick Nolan recaptured the seat in 2012, but his retirement left an open contest in 2018 that was won by Republican Pete Stauber. In his 2020 re-election bid, Stauber won by an even larger margin. Though redistricting changed the makeup of voters in the 8th District, Democrats face a significant challenge in trying to win back the district.


photo of Pete Stauber

Pete Stauber

Lives in: Duluth

Stauber is the current representative of Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. Stauber, a former professional hockey player and Duluth police officer, was first elected in 2018. Stauber serves on several subcommittees including those within the Transportation and Infrastructure and Small Business Committees.

photo of Harry Robb Welty

Harry Robb Welty


This candidate filed to run with the Secretary of State but no further information was immediately available about them.


photo of Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier

Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier


Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier moved with his husband to Bemidji, MN from Grand Forks, ND in 2018. He has spent almost two decades engaging with his community by being on state task forces advocating for foster and adoption youth, campaign finance reform, racial justice and against political corruption. Previously running in the Seventh District, Oppegaard-Peltier was drawn into the new Eighth District after redistricting changed some district boundaries.

photo of Jen Schultz

Jen Schultz

Lives in: Duluth

Schultz is serving her fourth term in the Minnesota House representing Duluth. She’s an economics professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth and has a specialty in health care. Schultz chairs the House’s Human Services Finance and Policy Committee.

photo of John Munter

John Munter


Munter is a retiree who worked for Delta in Chisholm. He lives on a hobby farm and is anti-copper nickel mining in the region. He said the major issue in the campaign is affordable housing and property valuations.


59 Minnesota Lawmakers Aren’t Seeking Re-election, Most Since 1970

It’ll be a new-look Minnesota Legislature in 2023.

A total of 59 members between the House and Senate are not seeking re-election to their current seats this year, more than one-fourth of the Legislature’s 201 members. That is the highest number since at least 1970, according to Legislative Reference Library data.

The breakdown of retirements is generally evenly split between the parties – 32 Republicans, 27 Democrats and two independents are not running for their current seats. Not all are leaving politics: several members of the House are running for Senate seats, while a handful are running for local offices.

Redistricting is the biggest reason for the wave of departures. The Minnesota Supreme Court’s special panel paired several lawmakers into new districts. Unlike members of Congress, Minnesota lawmakers must live in their districts, forcing these paired lawmakers into a decision: run against a fellow member, move, or retire.

Senate DFL Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen was among those who decided to retire. The Edina lawmaker was paired in redistricting with state Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park.

“It’s been an honor to get to know you over the last 10 years,” Lopez Franzen said to her constituents during Senate retirement speeches last week, “and I’m not moving.”

Redistricting has always led to more retirements, but this year’s wave is bigger than in previous decades. In 2012, 49 members didn’t seek re-election. There were 47 in 2002, 33 in 1992, 50 in 1982, and 54 in 1972.

Retiring lawmakers noted additional strains in recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This place is about relationships, and I think the last two years it’s been very difficult for us to build those relationships,” said Senate President Dave Osmek, R-Mound.

The 23 senators who aren’t seeking re-election have more than 107,000 days of collective service time in the Legislature, Osmek said.

Next year’s freshman class could be the biggest in recent history, depending on how many lawmakers who are running for re-election lose this fall.


(Fox 9)

Homebuilders Likely to See Slowdown as Housing Market Cools

U.S. homebuilders are working through robust construction pipelines in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets. But whether current levels of new construction will remain has become a bigger question as broader economic threats loom.

Seattle-based Redfin Corp. (NASDAQ: RDFN) recently found 49 of 53 U.S. metros with more that 1 million residents issued more single-family building permits per capita in the first quarter of 2022 than they did, on average, in the decade leading up to the pandemic. Sun Belt cities like Austin, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Jacksonville, Florida, are seeing the most new-home construction occur among the nation’s largest cities.

“New construction has increased, especially in 2021, just because of how much demand there was for housing and how little inventory there was,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. For many buyers during the pandemic, new homes have been the only option amid a highly competitive, inventory-starved national housing market.

But new housing comes at a premium compared to resale homes, with the typical newly built home nationally selling for $470,000 in Q1, a 19.2% annual increase, according to Redfin. The typical existing home sold for $403,000, a 16.7% increase.

Slower housing market, upcoming recession?

There have been early signs of a pullback in the broader U.S. housing market, in part because of rising mortgage rates and continued home-price appreciation locking out more buyers. Still, inventory remains constrained, even with slowing demand, and home-price appreciation continues to be observed.

The National Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, a monthly tracker of the single-family housing market informed by a survey of NAHB members, has declined for the past five months, owed to ongoing rises in construction costs, building material costs, delays and declines in housing affordability, said Robert Dietz, chief economist and senior vice president for economics and housing policy at the NAHB.

The most recent NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI, May 2022, was at 69, compared to a pandemic high of 90 in November 2020.

“All of those factors mean builders are increasingly concerned about the market,” Dietz said, adding there remains buyer demand because existing housing supply remains limited.

In fact, the NAHB recently found that new construction represents about one-third of all homes currently available for sale. Historically, that’s trended closer to 13%, Dietz said.

Among that 30% of available homes that are new construction, only about 10% is actually complete. The remaining 90% of that market is either being built now or is in the pipeline but hasn’t started construction yet.

The NAHB is forecasting single-family home starts to be relatively flat this year compared to 2021, at about 1.1 million, Dietz said. Next year, when the NAHB is forecasting an economic recession, number of starts is projected by the group to slow to between 1 million and 1.1 million.

Builders consider capital allocations more carefully

Between NAHB surveys and other industry markers, Dietz said there’s a sense of growing caution in the homebuilder world. Builders, for example, are taking a second or third look at whether to take out a loan or acquire a lot these days, given current costs and economic conditions.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) in a report this week found public homebuilders slowed their pace of land acquisition in Q1, with major builders’ lots, both owned and optioned, declining 0.4% from Q4 2021. Even so, lots under control among major builders increased by 21.7% annually in the first quarter.

Although slight, it was the first quarterly decline observed since Q2 2020, when the initial economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic was felt in the U.S.

Rafe Jadrosich, a research analyst at Bank of America Securities covering U.S. homebuilders and building products, said since the pandemic, public builders now have a much deeper supply of land control. By BofA’s measure, public builders’ supply increased to 6.7 years in Q1, compared to 5.6 years before the pandemic.

“We were definitely expecting them, at some point, to slow the pace of land acquisition,” Jadrosich said. “The quarter-over-quarter decline shows that homebuilders feel really strong about where their land positions are today.”

Right now, a lot of builders have record backlog they’re trying to work through, Jadrosich said, given the delays and challenges the industry has faced with supply-chain challenges and other material shortages. BofA analysts are predicting builders will slow their pace of land buying looking ahead, and shift excess cash flow to buybacks or to reduce debt.

Jadrosich said he thinks there’s a tremendous amount of investor focus on the capital-allocation discipline of builders as the housing market continues to slow.

“The pace over the past two years has been exceptional, and unsustainable,” he continued. “How homebuilders allocate capital going forward, into a more normalized environment, will be a very big focus for investors, particularly (because of) the past, when they have not been great at allocating capital.”

A slowing pace of land purchases suggests builders are being forward-looking and careful about capital decisions, Jadrosich said.

Will housing shortage persist?

The cyclical nature of the housing market means, as demand pulls back, so do other things like construction starts, despite a continued deficiency in housing nationally.

The NAHB estimates the U.S. continues to face a shortage of about 1 million homes. While some housing demand is expected to be sidelined with higher mortgage rates and the threat of a recession, that demand will come back when interest rates eventually move back down, Dietz said.

A slowing market isn’t also expected to spell disaster for builders or their contracts. Fairweather said it’s unlikely new homes will fall out of contract but demand won’t be where it’s been since the pandemic.

Public builders have been shifting toward option contracts to buy land, rather than outright ownership, in recent years, a move intended to give them flexibility on whether — and when — they bring land onto their balance sheets. So far, builders haven’t walked away from options yet, Jadrosich said, because home prices have continued to keep up.

“If prices do fall, we would expect builders to walk away from some of the option contracts, but it hasn’t happened at this point,” he continued.


(Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal)