Mayor Don Fraser endorsees Paul Thissen as the best candidate for governor

I lived in a house on 46th and Xerxes growing up.  Xerxes was a fairly busy street, so political signs were a regular lawn ornament on our block during election seasons.  The first political sign I remember was a red, white and blue Don Fraser for Mayor sign.  I think it might have even had the city skyline on it.  It was in our yard, and I thought it was pretty cool.

I’ve always had an affinity for Don Fraser.  He along with Hubert Humphrey comprise many of my earliest fond memories of politicians.

Yesterday, I received an email from Don Fraser sent via the Thissen campaign.

Don Fraser: Thissen Best Choice for MN

Dear DFLer,

Irresponsible leadership in the Governor’s office is costing our state dearly.  . We must reverse the ill-advised moves of the current Republican administration, including its conspicuous efforts to shift tax burdens away from the well-to-do, and onto the rest of us.

The stakes in this election are high and the challenges daunting. I believe that Paul Thissen is the candidate who gives us our best chance of restoring progressive leadership to the governor’s office.

Other candidates began this campaign with stronger name recognition, but as election day draws near, voters make their own assessments. They take the measure of the candidates and what they will bring to the office they seek.

A close look at Paul Thissen tells us what the voters will see as the campaign for governor proceeds.  Paul’s forebearers homesteaded in western Minnesota.  His parents taught in the Richfield and St. Paul public schools. He grew up in Bloomington, excelled at school, graduated from Harvard and went on to study law at the University of Chicago.  After law school, he and Karen moved back to Minnesota where they are raising their three kids who attend public schools.

Paul served as a state public defender and then built a successful legal career at a Minneapolis law firm, where he also chaired the pro bono committee that provides free legal services to nonprofits across the state, and to low-income Minnesotans.

Eight years ago, he knocked on every door in his legislative district, campaigned by listening to what people had to say, and won.  As chair of the Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee, he has been a leader in addressing health care needs in Minnesota.

Paul Thissen is a fresh face that will breathe new life into the campaign.  He is convinced that hard work is the only way to win elections, and listening is the only way to govern effectively.

I believe that as Paul Thissen becomes known, he represents our best chance to put Minnesota back on the road as a leading state in our nation. As Democrats, we need to learn the lessons of our past losses in the governor’s race.  The old model of name recognition and politics as usual will not work.  We need a fresh face and new ideas if we want to win in November.

Paul Thissen is the candidate who can defeat the Republicans and take back the corner office at the Capitol for the DFL.   Check him out at

Thank you,

Don Fraser
Former 5th Congressional District Representative
Former Mayor of Minneapolis

Don Fraser served in the U.S. Congress representing Minnesota’s 5th District from 1963 until 1979.  He gave up his seat to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1978. He then became the longest serving mayor in Minneapolis history, serving from 1980 until 1993.

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One thought on “Mayor Don Fraser endorsees Paul Thissen as the best candidate for governor”

  1. You gotta like a Representative who is not afraid to duck controversy … especially when he knows that a chance to be Governor clearly rests on how some groups will interpret his votes.

    Let’s congratulate Representative Thissen who chaired the Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee and brought passage to HF 2986 – Responsible Family Life and Sexuality Education Program .

    Any time that the words “Sex” and “Ed” are in the same sentence, it can shake a politician to his knees.

    But we are adults … and some will be childish about the subject and invoke fear-mongering tactics.

    With a 13 percent increase in HIV infections, a rise in teen pregnancies, the highest levels of reported STIs ever, and 89% of Minnesota parents believing that sex education in schools should include information about pregnancy prevention, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted infection prevention, while also encouraging students not to have sex … this legislation makes sense.

    Whatever your feelings – be it pro-life or pro-choice – there should be no debate that informed students can make better decisions.

    Providing truthful and accurate information is an important first step. Rep. Thissen took that step and showed the leadership that Minnesota needs.

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