The Potluck

In endorsement race for western suburban district, Rep. Kelly Morrison wins over Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart

By: - April 11, 2022 5:08 pm

State Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, DFL-Minnetonka, left, and state Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven.

State Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, won the DFL endorsement in her bid for the Minnesota Senate, beating freshman state Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, DFL-Minnetonka. 

Under new legislative maps, Johnson Stewart moved into Senate District 45, which encompasses a large western suburban district and cities like Minnetonka, Orono and Mound. 

Morrison, first elected in 2018, is a physician and entered the endorsement convention on Sunday with an advantage: Much of the newly-redrawn Senate district included her current House district. 

She also came armed with endorsements from top DFL leaders, including U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips and House Speaker Melissa Hortman. She won endorsement by acclamation, meaning Morrison won because Johnson Stewart withdrew her name before the results of the first round of voting were read. 

A request for comment from Morrison was not immediately returned Monday. 

In an interview, Johnson Stewart said she was still deciding whether she would run against Morrison in the DFL primary. 

“I think I have a lot of gifts to share, and I’m passionate about equity and the environment,” she said. 

Heading into the convention, she said she knew she wouldn’t win the endorsement but said she planned to seek the endorsement anyway. “It’s still important to show up and engage and be grateful,” she said. 

In suburban Senate District 37, which has been redrawn to include parts of Maple Grove, Medina and Corcoran, Farhio Khalif, a Somali refugee and community activist, won the DFL endorsement over the weekend. Earlier this month, organizer and policy advocate Zaynab Mohamed also received the DFL endorsement in a south Minneapolis Senate district

A handful of candidates, including former state Rep. Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley, are hoping to become the first Black women to serve in the Minnesota Senate.

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