T’Kach receives DFL endorsement for 52B seat


Mary T’Kach

On Saturday, March 12, Mary T’Kach received the DFL Party endorsement in the Minnesota House race for district 52B.

“I was honored and gratified,” T’Kach said. “It has been a compressed time frame, and reaching out to people ...  and then realizing who I am as a person and my values very much aligned with what people are looking for as a representative.”

In order to receive the endorsement, a candidate must receive 60 percent of the delegate votes at the party endorsement convention. After the first ballot, T’Kach had roughly 57 percent — on the second ballot, she received more than 59 percent.

Her opponent, Chris Becker, “graciously conceded,” she said, after the second ballot. With the endorsement, T’Kach is the first newly-endorsed state DFL candidate this election year.

T’Kach said she thinks her real world experience helped her win the endorsement — she has a combined 35 years of experience working in the non-profit, private and government sectors.

“Working successfully in projects in all of those different sectors and having very specific experience with program and policies in different parts of society really set me apart,” T’Kach said. 

For the past six years, she has been a Ramsey County energy and sustainability coordinator. Before that, she was the executive director of environmental sustainability at Aveda.

T’Kach announced her bid for the House District 52B seat last month. She made the decision after state Rep. Joe Atkins announced in January he would not be running for an eighth term and would instead make a bid for a Dakota County Board of Commissioners seat.

Through talking with people, T’Kach said her top priorities have only been reinforced. T’Kach said one area of focus was better access to health care, along with providing better opportunities to seniors, closing the achievement gap in district schools and making school affordable.

T’Kach said she’s been surprised how many people are concerned about prison reform and incarceration issues. 

“Given all the economic and health care and access to health care issues and housing issues people are struggling with, they are also concerned about other people, even if they don’t have people in their families incarcerated,” T’Kach said. 

Now, focusing even more on November, T’Kach said she plans on doing even more door knocking and meeting people one-on-one. She says she will continue listening to what people have to say, as well as working on bringing people together.

“People use different words but the issues are the same,” she said. “I think it will really be about bringing people together and helping people understand they have a lot of common ground.”

The Republican party has yet to hold its endorsing convention for 52B. Don Lee, an engineer from Eagan, and Regina Barr, a small business owner from Inver Grove Heights, are both in the running for the seat. 

District 52B includes Inver Grove Heights, Sunfish Lake, Mendota Heights and a portion of Eagan.  

 

Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com.

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