Governor Candidate Rebecca Otto Holds Meet and Greet in Duluth

by Paul Whyte

Photo Credit: Elizabeth McMahon
Photo Credit: Elizabeth McMahon

It was a rather intimate gathering on Tuesday evening at Carmody Irish Pub in Duluth for those supporting three time State Auditor Rebecca Otto for her run for Governor or Minnesota. The meet and greet was held as a fundraiser and to get the word out for the upcoming Precinct Caucuses on February 6. Otto took some time to highlight some of the positions she stands for to the small group in attendance. 

Otto has been a business owner and public school science teacher before pursuing her work in politics. In 2006 she was elected as State Auditor, unseating a Republican incumbent, that being the largest upset of its kind in 112 years.  
Before Otto got up to speak, Carmody owner Eddie Gleason spoke briefly and showed his support as a small business owner, stating that Otto will be “allocating my tax dollars where it should be.” As the owner of a brewery, he emphasized the importance of clean water.
Otto walked up to the mic and agreed, “we can’t have good beer without clean water.” This stands inline with her past positions against mining and focusing on helping people over big corporations. Her short speech focused on several issues, but above all brought out the importance for a “high quality of life” for Minnesotans. She mentioned that her experience of watching how the money flows from the “Feds to the local levels” during her years as auditor will help her set in place good public policies. 

Among the first things for Otto to bring up was how she would strive to bring the minimum wage of Minnesota up to $15 an hour in the next five years and seven years for smaller employers. She indicated that while that might not even be a living wage, it’s important that Minnesotans are paid more fairly. 

She next addressed the importance of continuing education to strengthen Minnesota’s work force. High school graduates would have four years to enroll into either a community college or State University and have two years paid for as long as they could keep a GPA of 2.5 or higher. In exchange for accepting the opportunity, those participating in the program would need to stay and work in Minnesota for four years once their education was completed. The idea is to keep jobs in Minnesota, expand growth, and create stronger communities and families. 

Otto is a strong supporter of single payer healthcare, “If you’re Minnesotan, you’re covered, period,” said Otto. She stated, “it’s the politics of greed that makes it hard” when it comes to setting up healthcare for all. 
The issue of marijuana ended up being brought up. Otto is for the industrial use of hemp and medical marijuana. While she is not for full legalized use of recreational cannabis, she does feel that those who use it should not be jailed. 
Other DFL candidates running for Minnesota Governor in 2018 include: Tim Walz, Erin Murphy, Chris Coleman, Tina Liebling, Paul Thissen, and Captain Jack Sparrow. Visit caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us for 2018 caucus locations for both GOP and DFL parties. 

Felicity Bosk assisted on this article.