Nurses Endorse “MNA Champions” in 2022 State Legislative Elections


Contact: Sam Fettig
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709

Incumbent candidates support key nurse issues including Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, will work to put patients and healthcare workers before profits 

(St. Paul) – June 20, 2022 – Nurses of the Minnesota Nurses Association today endorsed ten incumbent members of the Minnesota Legislature as “MNA Champions” for their consistent support of MNA issues and partnership with nurses on these priority goals. The endorsements are the first announced for incumbents seeking re-election in 2022 and follow those previously announced by MNA in open races.

To be endorsed as an MNA Champion, candidates must have demonstrated exceptional commitment to MNA priorities such as support for the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act; opposition to the Outsourcing Care Compact; and defense of workers’ collective bargaining rights and opposition to so-called “right-to-work” laws.

The incumbent candidates endorsed as MNA Champions today for their commitment to these priority issues are Liz Olson (HD 8A); Tina Liebling (HD 24B); Melissa Hortman (HD 34B); Cedrick Frazier (HD 43A); Jen McEwen (SD 8); John Marty (SD 40); Erin Murphy (SD 64); Jim Abeler (SD 35); Leon Lillie (HD 44B); and Mike Howard (HD 51A).

About the MNA Champion Endorsed Candidates

    • Liz Olson, HD 8A: Olson’s work with MNA nurses this year as the chief author of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act brought the issue of nurse staffing to the floor of the Minnesota House for the first time ever. Olson worked hard with nurses to advocate for the bill every step of the way, from successful committee hearings to its passage on the House floor.
    • Tina Liebling, HD 24B: As Chair of the House Health Finance and Policy Committee, Liebling was a strong and crucial backer of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act this year, including the staffing bill in the 2022 House HHS Omnibus bill. Liebling listened to nurses and fought until the end to retain the staffing provisions in conference committee with the Minnesota Senate.
    • Melissa Hortman, HD 34B: As Speaker of the House, Hortman has been a partner with MNA nurses in passing key legislation over the past two years, including Frontline Worker Pay and the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act.
    • Cedrick Frazier, HD 43A: Frazier’s tireless partnership with MNA nurses on the Essential Worker Emergency Leave Act, which became Frontline Worker Bonus Pay, led MNA to grant him the Public Official Award in 2021. After a two-year fight, frontline pay passed thanks in large part to the strong partnership of nurses with Rep. Frazier.
    • Jen McEwen, SD 8: McEwen has been an ardent champion of nurses in the Minnesota Senate including as a co-author of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act to address the staffing and retention crisis in Minnesota hospitals.
    • John Marty, SD 40: Marty has been a longtime, statewide advocate for MNA nurses on issues of staffing, workplace violence prevention, and healthcare reform. For his healthcare advocacy, Marty has received the MNA Paul and Sheila Wellstone Social Justice Award. ​
    • Erin Murphy, SD 64: MNA nurse member and former MNA Executive Director Erin Murphy continues to be a staunch advocate for nurses at the Capitol. Murphy has authored and fought for nurse staffing legislation year after year.
    • Jim Abeler, SD 35: Abeler has been a strong supporter of MNA nurses in the fight against so-called “right-to-work” laws and the Outsourcing Care Compact. He received the MNA Public Official Award in 2018 for his advocacy on the latter topic. ​
    • Leon Lillie, HD 44B: Lillie, a union member, served as author of the bill to approve state employee contracts for thousands of workers, including the hundreds of MNA nurses who work for the State of Minnesota. Due to his hard work, MNA nurse contacts were approved with bipartisan support before the end of the legislative session.
    • Mike Howard, HD 51A: Howard is a strong supporter of MNA nurses on issues of staffing and healthcare reform and has been a powerful advocate for prescription drug price reform in the Minnesota House. MNA nurses, working in coalition with other union members, worked with Howard to pass the Alex Smith Emergency Insulin Bill two years ago.

    Nurses Care, Nurses Vote
    In working to support MNA-endorsed candidates, nurses will encourage fellow members and the voting public to support those who will uphold their commitment to put healthcare workers and patients before the profit-seeking policies of healthcare executives. Nurse efforts to elect endorsed candidates through phone- and text-banking, door-knocking, digital advertisements and more will focus on candidate support for MNA priorities like the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act and other pledged positions.

    MNA endorsement recommendations are based on the record of candidates, as well as candidate questionnaires and interviews conducted by nurse members with candidates when necessary; these recommendations are then approved by the MNA Political Committee and Board of Directors, an elected body of nurse members. Nurses continue to interview candidates, and additional endorsements in state races will be announced on a rolling basis in the coming months. Additional information on the MNA endorsement process and on endorsed candidates can be found at