The Potluck

Nancy Livingston announces campaign for North St. Paul Senate seat

By: - October 25, 2021 1:13 pm

Nancy Livingston, a legislative assistant and member of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School Board, announced Monday she’s running for a North St. Paul Senate seat in 2022. Photo courtesy of Nancy Livingston

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.”

In addition to her work at the Legislature, Livingston is a veteran member of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School Board. She was first elected in 2000. 

Previously, Livingston spent 25 years covering education for the Pioneer Press and another 13 years as community relations director at Century College. She was also president of the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce.

Employment and civil rights attorney Leslie Lienemann also appears to be running for the seat, although she has not made a formal campaign announcement. She formed a campaign committee in mid-October.

The district — which spans North St. Paul, Maplewood, Oakdale and Mahtomedi — has been reliably blue in recent elections. Wiger won his last several elections by wide margins, defeating GOP challenger Bob Zick by more than 20 points in both 2016 and 2020. 

Four other state lawmakers have announced retirements this year: Sen. Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center; Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury; Sen. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids and Rep. Ami Wazlawik, DFL-White Bear. 

Former state Rep. Erin Maye Quade is challenging incumbent Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, for a state Senate seat. Maye Quade also ran for lieutenant governor in 2018 with gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul.

The Legislature could see a bevy of other retirements in the coming months, especially after legislative redistricting following the decennial census. The district lines could force incumbents to run against each other in their new districts.  

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.