FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amber Smigiel
Nurse endorsements recognize lawmakers working to solve the crisis of understaffing and retention, hold corporate healthcare executives accountable and put patients before profits in our hospitals
(St. Paul) – December 14, 2023 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) today announced five additional endorsements of candidates for the 2024 election cycle, recognizing MNA Advocates in the Minnesota House who have a proven track record of working collaboratively with nurses on MNA’s legislative priorities at the Capitol.
To be endorsed as an MNA Advocate, candidates must demonstrate a commitment to MNA priorities including solving the crisis of nurse retention and patient care, combatting increased corporatization and consolidation in healthcare, and supporting the rights of all workers seeking a collective voice for dignity and respect in the workplace.
The incumbent House candidates endorsed today as MNA Advocates for their commitment to priority issues for nurses and patients are Liish Kozlowski (08B); Andy Smith (25B); Ginny Klevorn (42B); Liz Reyer (52A); and Leigh Finke (66A).
About the MNA Advocate Endorsed Candidates
- Liish Kozlowski (08B): Kozlowski made their mark during their first term at the legislature by being a strong and consistent supporter of MNA’s work. As news of Mayo Clinic’s extortion attempts became public, few legislators were as visible and vocal in support of nurses, safe staffing, and MNA. Kozlowski was also a co-author of one of MNA’s key pieces of legislation, the healthcare merger regulation bill, and spoke up against the corporatization of healthcare in support of nurses in multiple committee hearings. Kozlowski also serves on the House Labor Committee, where they have strongly supported pro-worker, pro-nurse, and pro-union legislation.
- Andy Smith (25B): Smith stood out as one of MNA’s most effective and consistent supporters in the Legislature, garnering support for safe staffing through public-facing messaging. He used his social media channels to spread the word on KNABA and the issues nurses were facing at the Capitol with Mayo and MHA. He was also a strong, vocal supporter of the healthcare merger regulation bill during committee hearings as a committee member of the House Health Finance and Policy Committee.
- Ginny Klevorn (42B): Klevorn oversaw several positive changes and investments to state and local government during the 2023 session. She advocated for MNA priorities including increased funding for the Attorney General’s Office to investigate and prosecute antitrust cases, including healthcare antitrust cases such as those that have contributed to greater corporatization of healthcare. She’s a fierce advocate for increased transparency and accountability when it comes to the finances and transactions taking place in our healthcare system, likely one of the reasons she was such a strong supporter of the healthcare merger regulation bill.
- Liz Reyer (52A): Reyer consistently advocates for progressive healthcare reform, fighting to provide Minnesotans with equitable, quality, and affordable healthcare. When Mayo Clinic Health System decided to blackmail the legislature and the Governor, Reyer’s Healthcare Affordability Board was named along with KNABA as one of the biggest threats to Mayo’s corporate power. She is also a strong advocate for nurses and is always willing to speak up for workers in the House Health Committee where she strongly supports pro-nurse legislation.
- Leigh Finke (66A): Finke is a powerhouse whose impact at the Minnesota Capitol is already taking shape through her strong advocacy for LBQTI+ and equity inclusion. As the first openly transgender legislator elected to the Minnesota legislature, Finke uses her skills and experience as a multimedia storyteller to help change how we talk about politics and change at the Capitol, including showing her support for the nurses’ fight during the final days of session and beat back on harmful MHA talking points. Finke’s understanding of the negative influence of corporate power is incredibly valuable in changing Minnesota politics.
Nurses Care, Nurses Vote
MNA endorsements follow screening sessions where nurses pressed the candidates for their commitment to key issues for nurses and patients. Following screening sessions with the candidates, recommendations for endorsement were approved by the MNA Political Committee and Board of Directors, both comprised of elected nurse members.
MNA nurses will encourage fellow nurses and the public to elect endorsed candidates in 2024 through phone- and text-banking, door-knocking, digital advertisements and more.
Additional information on the MNA endorsement process and on endorsed candidates can be found at nursescarenursesvote.com.