Jim Niland, who has worked on politics from all angles, will manage the DFL Party's coordinated campaign for the 2014 elections.

Niland has been the the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 political and legislative director since 2005. AFSCME Council 5 was an early supporter of Gov. Mark Dayton's 2010 campaign and has already endorsed his re-election bid.

The public employees union has also been a l

arge spender on political campaigns. According to campaign finance records, AFSCME-related groups have spent nearly $4 million on Minnesota campaigns in the last six years.

Now, Niland, a former Minneapolis City Council member who has worked in many campaigns, will take a leave from the union to work at the party.

“The coordinated campaign will help make sure DFLers vote in 2014,” Niland said in a statement. “We have to protect the gains we won in the 2012 election by keeping the majority in the State House, reelecting Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken and making sure Democrats up and down the ticket win their races.”