Saint Paul DFL Crowdsourcing Ideas for 2017 Endorsement Process for Mayor and School Board


Have an idea for changing the way the Saint Paul DFL picks its candidates? Now your opportunity to share your thoughts with party leaders. The Saint Paul DFL is asking voters to chime in how the party can improve the the process for endorsing candidates for city-wide office. While everyone’s attention right now is on the US Presidential race, congressional races, state legislative contests, and electing our DFL-endorsed candidate for School Board, Jeanelle Foster, next year is expected to be a big year in local politics with voters having the opportunity to vote for mayor and three seats on the Saint Paul School Board.

“Given the increasing diversity of our city and the importance of next year’s election, we want our party to set the bar in holding an endorsing process that is as inclusive and welcoming as it can be,” said Saint DFL Party Chair Libby Kantner.

She added,”With the mayor’s race, because of ranked choice voting we will not have a primary in the fall. The party endorsement process will be one of the few opportunities for voters to see the candidates up close before they vote in November.”

As part of engagement efforts ahead of next year, the party is asking interested voters to participate in a survey that can be found at Party officials will also be meeting with a number of community groups to get their input. The party anticipates finalizing plans for next year by early November and announcing the dates and details for the 2017 caucuses and convention shortly thereafter.

For more information, or to share your thoughts directly, email Libby Kantner at


Join Mayor Coleman and the Saint Paul DFL for a unity fundraiser Wednesday, September 28th, 5-7PM


Please join Mayor Chris Coleman, the Saint Paul DFL & co-hosts:

Senator Dick Cohen | Senator John Marty | Senator Sandy Pappas | Representative Alice Hausman | Representative Sheldon Johnson | Representative Tim Mahoney | Representative Carlos Mariani | Representative Rena Moran | Representative Erin Murphy | Representative Dave Pinto | School Board Member Zuki Ellis | School Board Member Steve Marchese | School Board Member Jon Schumacher | School Board Member Mary Vanderwert | School Board Member Chue Vue | City Council Member Amy Brendmoen | City Council Member Jane Prince | City Council Member Russ Stark | City Council Member Dai Thao | City Council Member Chris Tolbert | Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter | Mary Briggs | Melvin Carter III | Joel Clemmer | Beth & Jon Commers | Megan Conley | Trudy Dunham | Tony Fragnito | Matt Freeman & Nicole Wittig-Geske | Peter Grafstrom | Chris & Monica Haas | Keith Hardy | Pat & Laura Harris | Libby Kantner | Robert Kasper | Joan Laux | Kathy Magnuson | Roy Magnuson | John Marshall | Don Mullin | Laura Nevitt | Cathy O’Dell | Kathryn O’Gorman & Michael Sigrin, LP | Tony Parrish | Joan Pasiuk | Cailin Rogers | Dane Ryan | Erica Schumacher & Andrew Collins | Judy Schumacher | Linda Slattengren | Barb Spears | Jeanne Strauchon | Sarah Walker | IBEW Local 110 | Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades | Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation | Saint Paul Federation of Teachers & the COPE Committee

For a DFL Unity Event to support DFL-endorsed candidate


For Saint Paul School Board

We will also be rallying behind all of our DFL-endorsed candidates who are on the ballot this November!

Wednesday, September 28

5:00-7:00 PM

Lake Monster Brewing

550 Vandalia Street #160 | Saint Paul, MN

Suggested contributions

$250 | $100 | $50

To join the host committee or RSVP, please email Megan Thrasher at

Make a contribution to Jeannie’s campaign today!

Tell your friends on Facebook! 

Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday.

Our DFL-endorsed School Board Candidate, Jeannie Foster

After just one ballot Saturday, the convention voted to endorse Jeannie Foster by acclamation. Jeannie will serve all students once elected to the Saint Paul School Board. Find out more about her background and priorities here.

For a play-by-play (minutes) from the convention, click here.

Check back soon for information on how to help elect Jeannie to the Saint Paul School Board.

Special Endorsing Convention Saturday, August 13th

We’re looking forward to seeing delegates, alternates, candidates and volunteers this Saturday morning. Please see the draft agenda below.

St. Paul DFL Special Endorsing Convention

Hazel Park Preparatory Academy, 1140 White Bear Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55106

August 13, 2016


8:00AM- Registration Begins

9:00AM- Call to order by St. Paul DFL Chair

  • Flag ceremony
  • Reading of Affirmative Action, Outreach, and Inclusion Statement.
  • Credentials Committee Report
  • Election of Convention Chair
  • Rules Committee Report –Adoption of Rules & Agenda
  • School Board Endorsement
    1. Nominations
    2. Candidate Speeches
    3. Question & Answer Period
    4. Balloting
  • Adjournment


Draft rules can be found here.

Special School Board Convention Draft Rules

Please see the draft rules for the August 13, 2016 Special School Board Endorsing Convention below. These were crafted by the rules committee and will be voted on by the delegation at the convention. Any questions should be directed to Rick Varco.

PDF Version of the rules: 2016 St. Paul DFL Convention Rules -DRAFT



Governing Authority and Agenda

  1. Upon all matters not governed by the Official Call, the State DFL Party Constitution and Bylaws, the St. Paul City Party’s Constitution and Bylaws, and these Rules, Robert’s Rules of Order–most recently revised shall govern.


  1. A majority vote of the Convention is required to adopt these rules and the agenda. Once adopted, these rules and the agenda shall govern unless suspended or modified by a two-thirds vote of the Convention.


  1. The quorum for conducting any business of the Convention is a majority of the registered delegates (including upgraded alternates).


Seating of Delegates and Alternates


  1. Registration shall remain open until adjournment of the Convention.


  1. Each Ward delegation shall elect two or more delegation chairs, with gender balance for purposes of alternate seating, roll calls and ballot voting. The Convention Chair shall instruct the Convention as to the duties each delegation chair will be expected to perform during the Convention. The name of each delegation chair shall be reported promptly to the Convention Chair.


  1. The seating of delegates and alternates shall be governed by the following:


  1. All registered delegates (not alternates) on the temporary roll shall be seated.
  2. The Convention shall hear and resolve any challenges regarding delegate or alternate seating pursuant to the Official Call.
  3. Any delegates or upgraded alternates entitled to be seated after all challenges have been resolved shall go to the registration table with their delegation chair so that proper seating can be arranged. As soon as practicable after verification of a quorum, the registration stall shall function inside the convention hall so as to permit its members to maintain a consistent and accurate delegate count by wards while participating as convention delegates.
  4. Alternates elected at large shall be upgraded to delegate status according to their numerical ranking on the ward report. Alternates elected through subcaucus voting systems will be upgraded to delegate status in the order reported within their subcaucus. If there are no alternates available within a subcaucus, alternates will be raised by lot from among the highest ranking alternates within the other subcaucuses. Each subcaucus will be represented in the lot system in proportion to its delegate allocation strength.
  5. The registration staff shall issue identification badges to delegates, alternates and visitors during the registration process. Badges issued to each group shall be of a different color.
  6. A temporary delegate badge shall be issued to an appropriate alternate when the alternate is raised to delegate status. There shall be no upgrading of alternates during any voting process. If the raised alternate is subsequently returned to alternate status, the alternate’s delegate badge shall be immediately surrendered to the registration table.
  7. Non-upgraded alternates and visitors shall be seated separately from delegates and shall not be allowed on the convention floor during the Convention.


  1. Upon application to the Credentials Committee chair, each candidate for endorsement for school board shall be allotted three floor passes for the use of his or her representatives. The candidates’ representatives using said floor passes must leave the convention floor at the time ballots are distributed. Floor passes issued for each race shall be returned to the Credentials Committee chair when the candidate is no longer eligible for endorsement.


General Convention Rules


  1. The Convention Chairs shall appoint a Convention Secretary, timekeepers, judges, clerks, tellers, sergeants-at-arms, parliamentarians, pages and other assistants as they deem necessary to conduct convention business.


  1. All persons shall comply with rules established by the Convention venue and the Arrangements Committee.
  2. No stickers will be allowed anywhere in the Convention venue.


  1. Campaign literature may not be distributed in the Convention hall during balloting. No moving demonstrations are permitted during balloting. There shall be no disruptive demonstrations in the galleries. Whistles, air horns, bull horns and strobe lights, or other similar devices will not be allowed during the Convention in the Convention hall.


  1. If a contest exists, all elections shall be done by written ballot. All other voting shall be by voice vote or standing division unless a written ballot vote is requested by the Convention Chair or by one-third of the delegates present.


  1. Convention tellers shall distribute ballots to the chairs of each ward delegation on matters to be determined by written ballot. Ballots shall be distributed only to delegates and upgraded alternates seated under the rules of this Convention. These ballots shall be returned by the precinct delegation chair to the tellers. All ballots to be eligible to be counted must have a signature of the Delegate or upgraded Alternate as required by the Democratic National Committee.


  1. Incumbent DFL office holders and the chairs of the State, 4th Congressional District, and Saint Paul DFL may address the Convention at the discretion of the Convention Chair. Such visitors shall limit their remarks to not more than two minutes.


  1. All voting shall be by delegates and upgraded alternates who are sitting in the location designation for their ward. Automatic Delegates will be seated and will vote with their ward.


  1. No ballot shall be distributed until at least five minutes after appropriate notice that the floor shall be frozen and delegates shall return to the floor has been given.


  1. The phrase “sixty percent affirmative vote” means that to be endorsed, a candidate must receive sixty percent of the votes cast on that ballot excluding blank ballots and abstentions. Ballots marked “No endorsement” shall be counted for purposes of determining the sixty percent necessary for endorsement. Uncounted ballots shall include blank ballots, ballots marked as abstaining, ballots marked with the name of a dropped candidate or withdrawn candidate, and unintelligible or spoiled ballots. A spoiled ballot is defined as containing too many names in a multiple endorsement race. All ballots cast shall count toward a test of quorum.

Speech and Debate Rules


  1. No delegate may speak until recognized by the Convention Chair. Speakers will first state their name and ward. No person may speak more than once on an item of business until all others on that side who wish to do so have had an opportunity.


  1. Unless otherwise provided for in these rules, no delegate shall speak for more than one minute on any item. The Convention Chair will rotate speaking privileges among floor microphones and between proponents and opponents of a measure to the extent possible. Debate will terminate when three speakers have been heard on each side.


  1. With respect to credentials challenges to delegations, prior to floor debate, speakers on behalf of both the challenged delegation and the challenging delegation shall each be allowed two minutes in total to present their positions, with the challenged delegation speaking last.


  1. Any amendment to a motion or report that removes, changes or adds five or more words must be submitted in writing to the Convention Chair before being considered.


Endorsement Rules


  1. General Endorsement Rules:
    1. The Convention shall endorse no more than one candidate.
    2. The Convention Chair shall first call for nominations from the floor for endorsement. Nominations shall be by name only. After the candidates have been named, the chair shall determine an order for speaking time by lot.
    3. No time shall be given to individuals who are not seeking DFL endorsement.


Endorsement Ballot for School Board


  1. Each candidate nominated for endorsement for election to the Board of Education shall be allotted 8 minutes for a nominating speech, seconding speeches, floor demonstrations, and addressing the Convention.


  1. On the 4th and on every subsequent ballot, the candidate with the lowest total shall be dropped. No candidate will be dropped due to a tie vote. In no case shall this rules reduce the number of candidates to less than two.


  1. A motion to adjourn without endorsement of a School Board candidate shall require a 2/3 vote.

Sign Displays


  1. Only Signs for candidates seeking DFL endorsement for School Board may be displayed at the Convention. Signs eligible for display are limited to those three feet by six feet or smaller. Campaigns for School Board are allowed to display five signs inside and five signs outside the building, not counting signs posted to identify a campaign table or campaign room.


  1. No person may place any banners or posters on the Convention platform or in any way obstruct the view of the platform by delegates. Campaign signage is prohibited in the registration area. Signs may not be taped or otherwise fixed to the outside of the building. No campaign signs are allowed on the entry doors or windows.


  1. All campaign signs inside will be fixed to the inside walls by blue painter’s tape.


Question and Answer Period


  1. There will be a question and answer period after candidate presentations.
  2. The first question shall be “Will you suspend your campaign if someone other than you is endorsed by this convention? Yes or No answer only.”
  3. All other questions must be submitted in writing before the completion of candidate presentations. All questions must be:
    1. General in nature and addressed to all candidates
    2. Cover a single topic
    3. Not in the nature of a personal attack
    4. Able to be answered in one (1) minute
  4. The Convention Chair or the Convention Chair’s Designee shall screen all questions and eliminate any that are duplicate or not in compliance. The Chair or the Convention Chair’s Designee shall pick from the remained.
  5. Convention Chair shall ask the candidates each question in turn, but shall not read any preliminary remarks, statements or explanations included with the question.
  6. The order of response for the first question will be established by lot and will rotate for each subsequent question.
  7. Each candidate shall be allowed one (1) minute to answer each question.


  1. The Question period will last for thirty (30) minutes or until all questions are asked but shall be extended to allow all candidates to answer the final question.

Special Endorsing Convention Rules Committee Meeting

For the August 13th Saint Paul DFL Special Endorsing Convention for the School Board Vacancy, the 2015 Rules Committee has been appointed to draft convention rules. These draft rules will be voted on by the delegation at the convention.

Rules Committee Meetings are open to the public. The first, and potentially only meeting of the Rules Committee will be Thursday, July 28th at 6:30 PM at the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Offices, 345 Randolph Ave, #100, Saint Paul MN. The office is located south of Shepard Road next to the Minnesota Nurses’ Association.

If you are on the committee, you should have received an email from Rick Varco. If you are unsure, or have questions, please contact him at

Draft convention rules will be posted on the website as soon as they are available.

School Board Special Election

Following the resignation of Jean O’Connell, a special election to fill her seat will be held this November.  The Saint Paul DFL will hold a special endorsing convention to select our candidate. As per the constitution, the delegates and alternates will be those elected to the city convention in April, 2015.


Saint Paul DFL Special Endorsing Convention 

August 13, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

Hazel Park Preparatory Academy

1140 White Bear Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55106


More information regarding rules, arrangements and credentials will be available later this week. If you are a candidate interested in securing a room or table at the convention, please contact Beth Commers. For a list of delegates and alternates, please contact Libby Kantner.