Sayles Belton, Page also excellent candidates
By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor, @HarryColbertJr
Minnesota deserves Rep. Keith Ellison be appointed the state’s next senator.
While there are several names being bantered about, Ellison (DFL-5th Dist.), is the best choice to serve in the U.S. Senate, filling the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Al Franken. Ellison, co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, already knows the Capital terrain and has been a proven progressive voice in Congress. Former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and current vice president of the CPC, Ellison is an unapologetic voice for the left, being an advocate for people of color, women, LGBT, the poor, working and middle class, labor, quality education and more. A proven fundraiser, bringing in millions of dollars to the DNC, Ellison will be able to easily fund a 2018 bid for the seat. Having the 11-month head start in the Senate will benefit him greatly going into November. Where Franken was that outspoken Democratic voice in the Senate, Ellison too would fill this needed role.
Former Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles Belton and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page (retired) would also bring with them dynamic skillsets to the Senate and serve admirably as the state’s junior senator.
Sayles Belton, Minneapolis’ first African-American mayor, who was recently honored with a bust in City Hall, has remained an active force in Minnesota politics since leaving Minneapolis government. Credited with bringing stability to Minneapolis during turbulent times, Sayles Belton would be called on again to do so – this time at the Federal level. Under Sayles Belton’s stewardship, Minneapolis saw a reduction in crime and attracted key business investment, including the downtown Target retail store and the creation of Block E entertainment center. It is not lost on us Sayles Belton’s professional work with victims of sexual assault, considering the circumstances by which the pending vacancy in the Senate is due.
Page, whose character is beyond reproach, would certainly restore honor to the soon-to-be vacated seat. For 22 years Page sat on the state’s highest court, earning and maintaining the respect of his peers and the voters of Minnesota. Page is a household name in Minnesota – a Pro Football Hall of Fame member of the Vikings’ “Purple People Eaters.” He was elected statewide four times to Minnesota Supreme Court – In 1998 Page garnering the most votes in state history – thus giving him and the DFL a great chance at maintaining the seat.
Dayton has shown bold leadership and a desire for a more inclusive representation in government. His pick of Ellison would once again demonstrate that bold leadership and cement his legacy as a transformative governor for Minnesota.