Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

Klobuchar wins big among Iowa snowbirds who caucused in Palm Springs, Calif.

By: - February 4, 2020

Given the number of Midwestern state license plates in my old Palm Springs condominium complex, it’s no surprise to hear U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar won the Iowa satellite caucus in Palm Springs, Calif.  A popular destination for snowbirds from Iowa and Minnesota, the Coachella Valley, where Palm Springs lies, sees a massive influx of temporary […]

Allegations of ‘rampant’ sexism, ‘racist’ and ‘retaliatory’ culture came before AFSCME Council 5 leadership shakeup

By: - February 4, 2020

Before the abrupt leadership shakeup at one of the state’s most powerful public employee unions last summer, union leaders were accused of “rampant” sexism, as well as a “racist” and “retaliatory” culture, according to a letter obtained by Minnesota Reformer. The letter sent to the union’s leadership in early August came from Vanessa Marian Butcher, […]

Former Woodbury Mayor Mary Guiliani Stephens to challenge DFL Sen. Susan Kent in swing district

By: - January 30, 2020

State Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, is facing a new Republican opponent for her senate district seat: former Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens.  Kent, who is two days away from challenging DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk for caucus leader, now faces a formidable opponent in a swing district she won by fewer than 400 votes […]

Women mayors twice as likely than men to face online abuse, threats of violence

By: - January 30, 2020

Former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, the first woman in the city’s history to hold the post in the era of social media, recalls clearly the shift in criticism she received when she went from city councilwoman to city executive.  “The number of times I was told I should get raped was extraordinary,” she said in […]

Who are the popular kids? Klobuchar tops Trump, Walz, Smith

By: - January 29, 2020

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose presidential campaign is sprinting to the finish ahead of the Iowa caucus next week, continues to be the state’s most popular politician, according to public-opinion polls aggregated by APM Research Lab and Minnesota Public Radio. A mixture of 2019 polls by Morning Consult, Kaiser Family Foundation/Cook Political Report and the […]

DCCC goes on offense, running health care ads in the metro

By: - January 27, 2020

This story and headline have been updated to reflect the ads’ broader reach than just the Second Congressional District.  U.S. Rep. Angie Craig is getting some national help in her first reelection. Minnesota is among the states where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced more than $1 million in TV and digital ad buys Monday […]

It’s on: Sen. Susan Kent is challenging Sen. Tom Bakk for DFL leader

By: - January 24, 2020

The Senate DFL caucus is nearing what could be a bruising leadership battle — and potentially its first woman leader. State Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, is challenging Minority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook, in a leadership election that will take place Feb. 1, according to an email Kent sent to the caucus and obtained by […]

DFL Party Chair calls on Legislature to protect voter data in upcoming presidential primary

By: - January 23, 2020

This post has been updated.  DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin on Thursday called on the Legislature to change the state’s presidential primary law to protect voter information, including party affiliation. With the state’s first presidential primary in nearly three decades just 40 days away, privacy concerns have emerged among voters who fear their political affiliations […]

Eagan police arrested their own Mayor Mike Maguire for driving drunk

By: - January 21, 2020

Is there something about the winter doldrums of January that compels Minnesota mayors to drive drunk?  Eagan police arrested their city’s mayor, Michael John Maguire, 52, on Jan. 11 after responding to reports that his sport-utility vehicle was stuck in a snowbank near the intersection of Dakota Path and Shadow Creek Curve, KARE 11 reported […]

Gazelka’s comments ignite strong reactions

By: - January 17, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s comments in an interview with Colorado televangelist Andrew Wommack generated strong reaction Thursday from Minnesota’s LGBTQ community and progressives, who pledged to flip the GOP-controlled state Senate. In the hour-long interview, which was reported by the Minnesota Reformer, Gazelka explained why he believes churches and counselors should be free to […]

Sceengrab of Andrew Wommack and Paul Gazelka

Senate leader tells televangelist he’s in a ‘spiritual battle’

By: - January 16, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka used a recent interview with a conservative televangelist to share candid views about his faith and how it shapes his approach to governing. “A lot of my job frankly is stopping the onslaught of the left from continually moving us in a way that we know is contrary to the […]

The story of a school levy and what it means for Minnesota

By: - January 14, 2020

WORTHINGTON — Before 2016, cheer coach and youth leader Jessica Lee Velasco, a 37-year-old mother of seven, mostly worried about coaching the girls on her squad and shuttling her kids to soccer and hockey practices on time.  The south Texas native, who met her husband here, had come to love the small-town life of Worthington, […]