February 1, 2022  (

In east metro, most DFL precinct caucuses no held in person due to mandemic - Twin Cities


With his back to a classroom white board covered in algebraic equations, Allen Johnson explained that participation in the precinct caucus was limited to anyone age 18 or older, eliciting chuckles all around. The average age among the nine DFLers from the south end of White Bear Lake was clearly over 60, if not over 70.

Also worth mentioning, Johnson said, for anyone interested in participating in the DFL Donut Booth at the Minnesota State Fair, “it’s very likely you’ll be in a different district next year. We’ll know more after Feb. 15.”

At Mahtomedi High School, participants at one of the few east metro Democratic-Farmer-Labor precinct caucuses that met in person on Tuesday wondered aloud how redistricting would redraw their voting area, and how that might impact the race to replace their eight-term state senator.


State Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, has declined to run for a ninth term, opening up his District 43 seat for the first time in a quarter century. Wiger, a retired attorney who was first elected in 1996, said late last year that he was injured in a “painful, accidental fall” and was grateful “for the great care given by my health care team and family.”

Across the east metro, in-person precinct caucuses were largely the exception to the rule for the DFL in light of concerns surrounding the fast-spreading omicron variant.

Outside of Wiger’s Senate district, some 70 percent of DFL caucuses — and all of the party caucuses in St. Paul — went “contact free,” meaning participants filled out a form indicating whether they’d like to be a delegate or alternate to a higher-level party convention such as their county or senate district.

“Our area was very enthusiastic about coming in in-person,” Johnson said. “They felt it was important to give people the option. One gentleman said he’d been trying to fill out an online form multiple times.”

The form, which could be emailed or dropped off at a caucus location, also allowed participants the option to declare their interest in a particular candidate or issue, though that section was optional.


Both former Pioneer Press reporter Nancy Livingston and attorney Leslie Lienemann have declared their candidacies for the Senate District 43 seat, though redistricting maps likely to be made public in mid-February could fundamentally alter voting areas.

The math classroom at Mahtomedi High School drew visits from Amane Badhasso, a candidate for the seat held by longstanding U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, as well as Livingston, campaign volunteers for McCollum, Lienemann, state Rep. Peter Fischer, DFL-Maplewood, and others.

Through a proxy nomination process, Badhasso submitted names for nine delegates to the Senate district convention, a relatively sizable showing for White Bear Lake Ward 4, Precincts 1 and 2, and more than equal to the seven other delegates chosen Tuesday night.

Otherwise, beyond social media banter or informal gatherings carried on Facebook Live, the precinct caucuses were largely sleepy affairs for the party, at least on the surface. Gov. Tim Walz, a DFLer, is running unopposed for re-election and expected to receive the party nomination without fanfare.

Mitchell Johnson, Allen Johnson’s father, said he had been participating in the caucuses since high school, where he recalled being blown away after spending time with party leaders like Hubert Humphrey.

“A couple Senate districts near us said ‘we’re all done, we did it electronic.’ Well, I don’t think you know who is going to do this work or that work,” Mitchell Johnson said. “We need people to step up, especially if we are going to have a Senate district convention.”

Also walking the high school halls was Justin Stofferahn, who is currently running for an open seat in House District 38B but is well aware that district could soon encompass some precincts in White Bear and Mahtomedi.

“We’ve got a good team tonight, so we’ve been able to get to the two locations in 38, and down to here,” said Stofferahn, with a chuckle of acknowledgment. “None of the people here have met me before.”

Read  full article in Twin Cities Pioneer Press

October 27, 2021  White Bear Press

Livingston announces run for SD43

Longtime North St. Paul-Mapelwood-Oakdale School Board Member Nancy Livingston has announced that she will run for the Senate District 43 in 2022. She will be seeking the DFL endorsement.

The seat is currently held by Sen. Chuck Wiger, who announced this month that he will not be running for re-election.

In addition to serving on the District 622 School Board for 21 years, Livingston works as Sen. Wiger's legislative assistant. Her past jobs include 25 years as a Pioneer Press reporter, covering mostly education, and 13 years as community relations director at Century College. She is a past member of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale-Rotary Club and is past president of the White Bear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

"I am ready to carry on Sen. Wiger's legacy of hard work and service," said Livingston. "My priorities will be addressing issues that matter to the people in the district - education, the environment, health care costs, equity, public safety."


Nancy and her husband, Tim Van Ness, have lived in North St. Paul for 43 years. They have three adult children and nine grandchildren.

October 25, 2021  (Minnesota Reformer)

Nancy Livingston announces campaign for North St. Paul seat


North St. Paul resident Nancy Livingston announced on Monday that she’s running for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Chuck Wiger’s decision not to seek reelection.

Livingston is legislative assistant for Wiger, a Maplewood Democrat, and will seek the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party endorsement, according to a news release. Wiger was first elected to the state Senate in 1996 and announced in mid-October that he was stepping back from public service.

Livingston said in the release that she hopes to focus on “education, the environment, health care costs, equity (and) public safety” at the Capitol.

“I am ready to carry on Sen. Wiger’s legacy of hard work and service,” Livingston said. “I look forward to working with residents on issues that matter to our community.”

Read  full article in Minnesota Reformer