History and politics, or some combination of the two, are interests I’ve had for as long as I remember. While it is not my earliest political memory, I remember a trip with my mom to hear Ted Kennedy speak in 1979 or 1980 when he was challenging Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. Although I never actually saw him, my mother can be a little directionally challenged, we heard him, and that event is one of the earliest memories I have connecting me to the Democratic Party.
In high school I volunteered for a local DFL House candidate, and in 1988, as a 17 year-old, I attended my first DFL caucus in Richfield. I supported Illinois Senator Paul Simon for President, was a precinct coordinator, and made my first campaign contribution, $5.
After those first years of involvement in high school, my active participation tapered off. But, I continued my interest and was often vocal about my support of moderate DFL and Democratic values. It wasn’t until Al Gore lost, the ensuing George W. Bush presidency, and the war in Iraq, that my interest, and the minor activity I still participated in, bumped up to another level.
In late 2003, during the early Democratic campaigns to unseat President George W. Bush, I began writing an email newsletter that I sent out to my family and friend contact list. I mainly discussed environmental issues with the underlying theme that President George W. Bush had to go. At the time President Bush was dismantling environmental initiatives like New Source Review and wildlife preservation areas, actions that threatened to reverse decades of environmental accomplishments. Once a week or so, I would do a little research and send out an email. Around the time I thought people were getting bored of the emails, I received a couple emails from people in Missouri and Washington to add their names to me email list. With more readers, it naturally morphed in to one of those new-fangled blogs. With a home first on Blogspot and now on WordPress, tens of thousands of visitors have visited MNDem.com.
As I began to concentrate more on local politics, it also morphed into a more active personal involvement in the local DFL. I volunteered for my local senate district, first helping with organization, then being elected a director. I convened precinct caucuses, attended Senate and State Conventions and was elected to be a member of the DFL State Central Committee and to be a Director in the Second Congressional District DFL. In 2010, with a lot of encouragement from local party leaders and my family, I ran as the DFL endorsed candidate for Minnesota Senate in District 36. Despite the loss, it was a great experience and something neither me nor my family will soon forget.
I like feedback, so please comment or email me, good or bad. I enjoy discussing and learning about political history, Minnesota history and political memorabilia. Feel free to contact me to discuss any of those topics.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @SteveQuist77, but be aware, politics is only about half of what I Tweet.
Family: Married with three sons
Home: Farmington, MN
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
College: Augsburg College, Accounting and Metropolitan State Univ., History, St Mary’s M.S. Accountancy
Job: Accounting Manager for a local Nonprofit
Church: Farmington Lutheran and Living Joy Lutheran, both ELCA
Favorite Activities: Watching my sons’ activities, fishing, hiking, baseball
Most Influential: My grandparents, the greatest generation.