Candidate

Heather Edelson Headshot

Heather Edelson

Nov 2018         MN HD-49A          Edina

Heather Edelson is a community leader with professional experience as a mental health therapist. She and her husband Brett have three boys: twins Sam and Caleb, who attend second grade at their neighborhood public school, and Josh, a preschooler. They moved from Minneapolis five years ago to raise their family in Edina.

Heather Edelson’s childhood was very different than that of her sons. She grew up in poverty in North Minneapolis with a single mother who struggled with chemical dependency. Her family received various forms of public assistance throughout her childhood. Heather overcame her difficult childhood, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. She also earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Heather Edelson has a long history of community activism. She has served as a guardian ad litem, advocating for children in court proceedings. Other organizations she has been involved with include the Edina Education Fund, the Edina Rotary Club, the PTO Concord Elementary Executive Board, the Edina Public School District Special Education Advisory Council, the City of Edina Human Rights and Relations Commission, the City of Edina Race and Equity Working Group and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Board.


How Close is this Race?

Clinton won HD 49A by an astounding 26.7% margin (15,675  to 8,466 votes)! In the 2016 House District race, Republican Dario Anselmo won by only 576 votes against the incumbent DFL candidate. This district votes very reliably DFL for state and federal offices.

November 2016 Presidential Race

Clinton (D)

Trump (R)

15,675 8,466
59.3% 32.6%
2016 Minnesota HD49A Race

Ron Erhardt, incumbent (DFL)

Dario Anselmo (R)

12,499 13,075
48.8% 51.0%

Why this Race Matters most:

Heather Edelson will work on behalf of the citizens of District 49A. With this district voting for DFL party several times prior to Anselmo's election and having voted for Clinton and Obama, this race has a strong chance of having a Democrat elected, if Democrats show up to the polls.

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LM Manifesto

Democrat Issues

  • Strengthening Education

    Edelson wants to improve educational opportunities at all levels of the public school system. She would like to increase access to preschool programs so that every child is ready for kindergarten.

  • Environment & Energy

    She supports policies to reduce greenhouse emissions and promote renewable energy. She will advocate for infrastructure that will protect Minnesota’s natural resources, such as more efficient water treatment facilities.

  • Small Business and the Regional Economy

    Anticipating future workforce needs, Edelson supports investing in technical education, “up-skilling” through paid apprenticeships and retraining displaced workers.

  • Senior & Disability Advocacy

    Edelson supports accessible transportation, affordable housing, and innovative technology to assist everyone who wants to live an independent life.


More Information

DISTRICT MN-49A DEMOGRAPHICS

Geography and Environment: The cities in the district include most of Shoreview, Mounds View and Arden Hills. It is about 10 to 12 miles north of Minneapolis, a drive that takes from 12 to 15 minutes. Like the rest of Minnesota, summers in the area are sticky, winters are freezing, and ice hockey attracts devoted fans. There is a plethora of ice skating opportunities in the district with five seasonal outdoor ice-skating rinks and two year-round rinks.

Bethel University has an enrollment of 4000 students. Close to the district is the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, which has 3400 students.

Citizenry: Because of nearby universities, the population includes a large number of young adults. Among other adults, residents between 44 and 60 years of age have the highest presence. The least represented ages are people in their (post-college) twenties, thirties and early forties. The median age is 43, which is six years older than the national median age of 37.

For households speaking languages other than English, Spanish is most common, followed by Chinese, Hmong and various African languages. The overwhelming majority‒85%‒of the population is white. Asians comprise just under 7% of the inhabitants. Hispanics, blacks and people of mixed race are each under 2% of the population.

Just over half of the residents of Ramsey County affiliate with a religion. About 25% are Catholic, 13% are mainline Protestant and 8% are Evangelicals.

Education:  Approximately 55.5% of district residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. This is significantly higher than the state as a whole, where only 43% of Minnesotans have a college degree. Forty percent of the population has a high school diploma. The percentage of residents without a high school degree is 4.5%, which is less than the statewide average of 8% without a high school degree.

Economy:  The median income is $76,300, with the most affluent portions of the district in Arden Hills and Shoreview.  The least affluent area is Mounds View. For comparison, the median household income for Minnesota is just under $60,000. All income quintiles in the district have higher incomes than the corresponding statewide averages.

A small percentage‒4.6%‒rely on food stamps. The district unemployment rate is 4.7%, which is slightly less than the national rate.

The sectors which employ the larger number of residents are manufacturing (17%), education (13%), healthcare (11%) and retail (10%). Mounds View has a Medtronic facility. The headquarters of the food company Land O'Lakes is in Arden Hills, as is a Boston Scientific facility.



DISTRICT MN-HD54A DISTRICT PRIMER

Printable summary of district profile.

District Primer

Opposition Report

OPPOSITION REPORT

Republican Incumbent Dario Anselmo

Republican Dario Anselmo was first elected in 2016; he ran unsuccessfully for the state house in 2014. Dario Anselmo was born in Duluth and raised in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. He attended Whittier CollegeBoston University and the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Jeanne have lived in Edina's Parkwood Knolls neighborhood for over 15 years. Their three children all attend Edina Public Schools.

Anselmo owned the Fine Line Music Café in downtown Minneapolis for 20 years, selling the nightclub in August 2013. He states that he is a Republican because of his experience as a business owner who faced a variety of taxes and levies.

His community involvement includes co-founding the Warehouse District Business Association in Minneapolis. He served on the board of the Minneapolis Downtown Council from 2000 to 2012. He also served on the boards of the Edina Education Fund, the Edina Give and Go, and the Minnesota Mental Health Association. For ten years, Anselmo was the president of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Issues of importance to Anselmo:  Anselmo wants to reduce taxes and regulations on individuals and businesses. His website states that he wants families to be able to choose the best schools for their children. He plans to help senior citizens by keeping their taxes low. He wants affordable energy solutions and energy independence. He wants to ensure that transportation funding is adequate.

Potential Strengths:  Anselmo's positions are seemingly moderate. For example, he has voted against legislation that would make getting an abortion more difficult.

Potential Weaknesses:  In a district that Hillary Clinton won with 59.3% of the vote, many of Anselmo's legislative votes are likely to dampen his support. He has voted to weaken environmental standards (HF 3280, in 2018), inadequately fund higher education (SF 2214/HF 2477 in 2017), weaken teacher licensing requirements (HF 140, in 2017) and support a form of vouchers that would enable public money to be spent on private and religious schools (HF 4, in 2017).


WHY NOT REPUBLICANS

Republican control of the Minnesota legislature has resulted in an uneven economy, deteriorating roads and infrastructure, and damaged environmental areas. It's time to bring Democrats back to clean up the mess and create opportunity for all Minnesota residents.

Side by Side on Key Policy Issues:

Democrat Position

Republican Position

Education

Edelson wants to improve educational opportunities at all levels of the public school system. She would like to increase access to preschool programs so that every child is ready for kindergarten.

Anselmo's has voted to inadequately fund higher education (SF 2214/HF 2477 in 2017), weaken teacher licensing requirements (HF 140, in 2017) and support a form of vouchers that would enable public money to be spent on private and religious schools (HF 4, in 2017).

Environment and Energy

She supports policies to reduce greenhouse emissions and promote renewable energy. She will advocate for infrastructure that will protect Minnesota's natural resources, such as more efficient water treatment facilities.

Anselmo's has voted to weaken environmental standards (HF 3280, in 2018). He wants to ensure that transportation funding is adequate.

Small Business and the Regional Economy

Anticipating future workforce needs, Edelson supports investing in technical education, “up-skilling” through paid apprenticeships and retraining displaced workers.

Anselmo wants to reduce taxes and regulations on individuals and businesses.