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Barb Yarusso

State Representative, 42A, 2013-2016, Shoreview

Dear fellow SD 40 DFL delegates,

By now you’re aware that in the process of redistricting we have two incumbent State Senators residing in our district, forcing us to make a choice between them. This is not uncommon, and there are many incumbent senators and representatives around the state (from both parties) who find themselves doubled up with a colleague. The flip side of that is that some new districts are left without any incumbent. You may recall that is what happened in House District 42A in 2012, which resulted in my nomination as the DFL candidate.

I won that election in a tight race in a tough district. We did that by leaving no vote ignored, knocking on as many doors as possible and having conversations with as many voters as possible. I learned that from Senator John Marty.

John had been my State Senator when we lived in Roseville. When we moved to Shoreview in 1991, one of my few regrets was that now I had a Republican State Representative and State Senator. In 2002, new districts were drawn. I was very happy one day when Senator Marty knocked on our door! John was my State Senator again from 2003-2012. Throughout those years I admired his hard work on issues I care about – the environment, healthcare for all, and human rights. I also appreciate his well-known honesty and integrity.

While working on John’s campaigns, I learned how hard it is to keep up with him in campaigning. He is a tireless doorknocker. He goes well beyond the usual targets of people to talk to – John knocks on every door and talks to every voter possible. That’s incredibly important in a swing district like ours, where every vote matters. John has a track record of winning even in “Republican” precincts. I believe that’s because voters who talk with him know that he’s honest. He doesn’t just repeat talking points or tell people what they want to hear. He has real conversations. I was especially grateful to have him on the street with me during my campaigns, door knocking on my behalf.

As a colleague, I came to appreciate that Senator Marty is one of the hardest working legislators in the state. He’s collaborative and helpful when working together on an issue. He does his homework, studying issues and listening to experts on the subject of a piece of legislation. He listens to and values the input of colleagues. And he sticks with those issues that take long-term dedication to make progress.