Saint Paul DFL-endorsed candidates for city council, school board File for election

Following historic turnout in the DFL endorsement process, eight candidates file for this Fall’s general election.


(From left to right: Dan Bostrom, Chris Tolbert, Mary Vanderwert, Jon Schumacher, Zuki Ellis, Jane Prince, and Steve Marchese.  Click here for more pictures.)

St. Paul —Saint Paul DFL-endorsed candidates for City Council and Saint Paul Board of Education filed for office today.  All candidates received the party endorsement at their local Ward DFL conventions or the citywide endorsing convention on April 19, 2015.

“We have endorsed a very strong slate of candidates this year,” remarked Libby Kantner, Chair of the Saint Paul DFL. “They all have very broad support from the community and are committed to working together for Saint Paul’s future, and we look forward to communicating that to voters in every neighborhood this election cycle.”


This year, the DFL precinct caucuses saw incredible attendance as members of our community turned out to make their voices heard and support the endorsement of a strong slate of DFL candidates for municipal office. Zuki Ellis, Steve Marchese, Jon Schumacher, and Mary Vanderwert each earned clear-cut endorsements for School Board at the citywide DFL convention. They will bring to the school board and the community new energy, expertise, and a strong commitment to ensuring all voices in our community are heard as we build a district where every student can succeed.


Mary Vanderwert, an early childhood education specialist, said: “I am looking forward to working with my fellow DFL-endorsed school board candidates to create positive change within the St. Paul School District to provide our children with the best education possible.”


Zuki Ellis, who currently works as a parent trainer with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and is the chair of the PTO at J.J. Hill, stated: “I’m running because St. Paul Schools can do better. This is an opportunity to expand the number of voices at the table as we work towards more inclusive, transparent, and collaborative schools.”


Steve Marchese added: “Our community deserves schools focused on providing an excellent education for every child in St. Paul. As a parent, lawyer and community member, I look forward to working with the other endorsed candidates to bring greater accountability, accessibility and engagement to the St Paul School Board.”

Jon Schumacher, who has been involved with St. Paul Public Schools for 23 years as a parent, site council leader, mentor, advocate and tutor, shared that “I’m running to answer the call from our parents, students and teachers for a clear, consistent and measurable strategy for success for all of our kids.”


Councilmembers Dan Bostrom, Chris Tolbert and Russ Stark each earned DFL endorsement for their reelections at their respective local DFL ward conventions and Jane Prince won the DFL endorsement for the open city council seat in Ward 7.

Councilmember Bostrom, who has served on the Council since 1996, kicked off his reelection campaign, saying:  “I look forward to continuing my work for neighborhood and community reinvestment and revitalization throughout Ward 6, the Eastside and all of Saint Paul.  Keeping Saint Paul a safe, welcoming place to live, work, raise a family and enjoy our great neighborhoods is my number one priority. Together, with our four excellent Board of Education candidates, citizens can count on our team to deliver for Saint Paul.”

Councilmember Tolbert, an assistant county attorney who will be running for his second term, said: “We have a great opportunity to honor the things that have made St. Paul special for decades, while moving forward to strengthen our neighborhoods and our City for future generations. I have done this in my work on the Council around the Ford Site redevelopment, the City’s award-winning Right Track program and through leading on infrastructure investment and mass transit planning. ”

Council President Stark, who could not make the group filing event sent his regrets and added, “I am proud of the things we’ve been able to do over the past eight years I’ve been on the Council. Together we have successfully opened the Green Line, spurred development along its corridor, improved biking and walking conditions and restored evening and weekend hours to libraries across the City. I look forward to continuing to make a more livable and sustainable Saint Paul.”

Jane Prince, a long time East Side resident and community volunteer who was endorsed in the Ward 7 seat vacated by Kathy Lantry, shared the sentiments of her colleagues: When I knock on voters’ doors, they know that the DFL endorsement stands for equity and justice for everyone in our community.  I am honored and proud to run for Saint Paul City Council with the endorsement of our Saint Paul DFL Party. “

Today is the first day in which candidates interested in elected office can file with Ramsey County. The general election will occur November 3, 2015.

About the Saint Paul DFL and candidates

For more information on the Saint Paul DFL, please visit

For more information on the candidates, please visit their websites:

Zuki Ellis

Steve Marchese

Jon Schumacher

Mary Vanderwert

Chris Tolbert

Russ Stark

Dan Bostrom

Jane Prince

Filing Rally

Dear friends,

The St. Paul DFL is proud to announce that our endorsed candidates for St. Paul Board of Education and City Council will be jointly filing for office at 8:00am on Tuesday July 28th.  These candidates will work to truly represent the best ideals of our party, and for a better city for all our St. Paul residents.  Please click here to RSVP on facebook.

For school board, the community members and activists that make up our party gave their endorsement to Zuki Ellis, Steve Marchese, Mary Vanderwert, and Jon Schumacher.  As well, four city council candidates earned our endorsement.  Ward 3 re-endorsed Chris Tolbert.  In Ward 4, Council President Russ Stark.   Longtime Eastside councilman Dan Bostrom earned the nod in Ward 6, and Jane Prince earned the DFL’s endorsement in Ward 7 to fill the seat left vacant by Kathy Lantry.

To learn more about our candidates, click here to visit our webpage.  To support the DFL’s work and help elect great candidates for St. Paul, click here to donate, or click here to volunteer!

Take care,

Daniel Cox

Campaign Coordinator, St. Paul DFL

Electronic Convention Balloting Recommendations

The St. Paul DFL is constantly looking for ways to improve the convention experience for our community, and to make participation easier while maintaining simplicity, security, and transparency.  After a robust discussion, a sub-committee drafted the following recommendations for rules committees during the next cycle of conventions:

  1. Paper ballots best meet the criteria we identified, especially simplicity, security, and transparency. The DFL should continue to use this method, while continuing to explore emerging solutions.
  2. With proper procedures, a ballot round should be counted in 30-60 minutes, which is an appropriate amount of time between ballots to allow for the debate and persuasion needed for delegates to switch their votes.
  3. As long as all campaigns have access and steps are taken to make sure that no ballots are counted exclusively by volunteers from one campaign, we should allow campaign volunteers and delegates to count ballots. They have the greatest interest in counting fast and accurately. The also serve as a constant check on each other to prevent error or fraud.
  4. The counting should be done in the most accessible space possible, including at delegate tables on the convention floor, so that space does not limit the number of observers and volunteers. Taking the ballots to a small room hidden from view adds time, allows mistakes and delays to occur without notice, and adds an aura of secrecy that undermines confidence. It is better for the maximum number of people to see the process.
  5. All delegations should be counted at the same time and if necessary, each delegation should be divided so that multiple teams can count at the same time.

Any questions or comments regarding these recommendations can be directed to Rick Varco at,  Thanks you for your interest and for helping us make our convention process better!

Announcing our new Campaign Coordinator!


The St. Paul DFL is proud to announce the hiring of Daniel Cox as Campaign Coordinator for the 2015 Coordinated Campaign! Daniel brings a wealth of experience to the DFL, and has previously worked as State Director for CREDO SuperPAC, Field Director for Craft for Congress, Campaign Manager for Zuki Ellis for School Board, Oakland County Lead for Freedom Michigan, and Field Organizer with MN United. We look forward to working with him during the months to come, as we maintain and grow our volunteer community, run a strong field program, and elect our endorsed DFL candidates this November.

You can contact him directly at (612)300-0817, or at

The Saint Paul DFL Hiring a Coordinated Campaign Staffer

Looking to help elect a great slate of DFL endorsed school board and city council candidates this fall? Then we have the job for you!


Saint Paul DFL

2015 Campaign Coordinator

The Saint Paul DFL 2015 Coordinated Campaign is hiring a campaign coordinator. Employment will commence June 29, 2015 and last through Election Day 2015. Please see below for job description, qualification and application information.

Job Description

You will report directly to the Chair of the Saint Paul DFL and will manage and assist in various political and field projects and meetings, including coordinating with the Saint Paul DFL’s four endorsed school board candidates. Your will be responsible for helping craft and successfully execute a strong messaging, field and direct mail campaign. Your duties will include tracking progress to goals, updating the Saint Paul DFL’s website and Facebook Page, helping with fundraising and political events, keeping candidates apprised of their responsibilities and commitments and running a strong field program which includes, but is not limited to, recruiting and training volunteers, working with our labor partners to plan and execute successful field events, and dedicating portions of your time to direct voter outreach.


  • Ability to work under minimal supervision is preferred;
  • Self-motivation, problem solving, organization, attention to detail, and outgoing and positive attitude are essential;
  • Working long, irregular hours in the style of political campaigns is expected;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;


  • One cycle (or longer) experience as a field organizer of similar position;
  • Familiarity with the VAN;
  • Reliable transportation; and
  • Personal laptop and cell phone.

Start Date: June 29, 2015

Supervisor:    Libby Kantner, Saint Paul DFL Chair

(612) 860-7823 (c)

Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits to be discussed during interviews.

To be considered for this position please send a cover letter, resume and three references to Libby Kantner at by the end of the day Friday, June 19th. Interviews will be held the week of the 22nd.

Resolution Results Are In

Hello Saint Paul DFLers!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered and attended the Saint Paul DFL’s 2015 City Convention. We had a historic attendance record with 96% of delegates turning out and the majority of them staying through ten hours of passionate discussion and balloting.

I am proud to say we endorsed four amazing school board candidates; Zuki Ellis, Steve Marchese, Jon Schumacher and Mary Vanderwert. These four impressive leaders will work with parents, teachers, students and the community to make sure that Saint Paul Public Schools teach all kids.

Our devoted resolutions committee has tallied all the votes and you can find a list of the resolutions that passed the needed 60% here: Saint Paul 2015 Resolutions Report

Please check back soon for more information about our endorsed candidates, upcoming events and opportunities to make our party and our city stronger. Until then- you know where to reach us-


Libby Kantner

Saint Paul DFL Chair


Join us this Sunday, April 19th for the Saint Paul DFL City Convention

This Sunday, April 19th, delegates from across the City will come together to choose four DFL-endorsed Saint Paul School Board members. Even if you aren’t a delegate, feel free to come watch the action, learn more about the Saint Paul DFL and meet new friends!

Are you a delegate or alternate who hasn’t chosen which four school board candidates they want to support? No worries! The Saint Paul DFL’s Candidate Information Committee has compiled answers to their questionnaire to help you learn more about the candidates. Check that out here.

Still undecided? Show up early to the Convention Sunday and hear directly from the candidates. We will have a Q & A forum from 11:45AM-12:45PM for those looking to hear more.

Saint Paul DFL Q and A Format and Rules

Saint Paul DFL City Convention

11AM- Doors Open

11:45AM- Question and answer forum begins

1PM- Convention is called to order

Find more information including proposed rules and agenda here.