In just a few short days, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to help select the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Thanks to our state’s strong early voting laws, Minnesotans will be the first in the nation to cast our ballots in the presidential primary, beginning this Friday.

This is a moment that many people across our state have been eagerly awaiting. I have spoken with countless Minnesotans who are inspired by the strong slate of Democrats running for president. Voters have been waiting for years to pick the next standard-bearer of our party and, hopefully, the leader who will turn the page on these last few embarrassing years of division and chaos.

Unfortunately, enthusiasm over the Democratic primary comes paired with anxiety over the general election. I have encountered a fair share of voters who are eager to defeat President Donald Trump but are also worried about our party’s ability to come together once we select a nominee. I understand this concern. However, given the incredible opportunity this election presents us, I’m confident that our party can and will unite behind the Democratic nominee.

Trump’s disastrous administration has brought to light some of the deepest problems in our politics. Unfortunately, this has also reminded many of us that progress is not a given. Large majorities of voters want our nation to address climate change, expand health care access to all Americans, enact gun safety reforms, build an economy that works for all, and so much more. However, in all these areas, the Trump administration has been moving our nation backward.

Democrats everywhere understand that we’ll get the change we fight for and we’ll lose ground if we refuse to take the field.

Going into 2020, our party has a bold agenda, we have popular support and we have the drive to get things done. That’s why I’m fired up for this election. We have the opportunity to move boldly into this new era, taking decisive action to solve the crises we face and reassert the moral leadership that’s been sorely lacking in America these past three years.

Though it is a tough choice with so many strong Democratic candidates running for president during this primary, the choice in the general election is clear. Any one of our Democratic presidential candidates would be better for this country than Donald Trump. When it comes to the general, we should campaign hard to build a better America and shape this next century. Future generations will be defined by what we are able to accomplish here and now, so let’s make the most of it.

With that, I encourage all who are ready to cast your ballots in the primary starting Friday. If you are undecided, now is the time to tune in. Watch our candidates debate, read their policies and platforms, and speak with your friends and family. If you are a stalwart backer of one of our candidates, work as hard as you can for them in the primary election. If they don’t make it through, join millions of your fellow Democrats in working as hard as we can for our country in the general election.

This is our opportunity to restore sanity and decency to our democracy.


Ken Martin is chair of the Minnesota DFL Party.