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Six Democrat mayors in Minnesota endorse Trump for reelection

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 8/30/2020 Maxine Shen For

Six Minnesota Democrat mayors and one former Independent mayor have endorsed President Trump for reelection after claiming that Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden hasn't done anything to help working class people. 

In a letter dated Friday, six mayors from Minnesota's Iron Range - named for their iron-ore mining districts - said they were supporting Trump over Biden, after having voted Democrat in the past.

The letter signers were Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson, Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe, Chisholm Mayor John Champa, Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich and Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich.

'Like many in our region, we have voted for Democrats over many decades,' the letter stated.

'We have watched as our constituents' jobs left not only the Iron Range, but our country. By putting tariffs on our products and supporting bad trade deals, politicians like Joe Biden did nothing to help the working class.'

The mayors said that they had 'lost thousands of jobs' in the region, while 'generations of young people have left the Iron Range in order to provide for their families with good paying jobs elsewhere.'

Additionally, they noted: 'Today, we don't recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class. The hard-working Minnesotans that built their lives and supported their families here on the Range have been abandoned by radical Democrats. We didn’t choose to leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.'

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Two of the mayors appeared during VP Pence's Duluth, Minnesota, campaign stop that they were supporting Trump. Pence is pictured arriving in Duluth Friday

Two of the mayors appeared during VP Pence's Duluth, Minnesota, campaign stop that they were supporting Trump. Pence is pictured arriving in Duluth Friday
© Provided by Daily Mail

The mayors went on to say that Trump's 2016 election was a 'wonderful' event that marked a turning point for the region. 

Video: Watch Kentucky Democratic delegates nominate Joe Biden for president (USA TODAY)


Trump 'stood up to China, implemented tax cuts and fought for the working class,' they wrote, adding that 'Lifelong politicians like Joe Biden are out of touch with the working class, out of touch with what the country needs, and out of touch with those of us here on the Iron Range and in small towns like ours across our nation.' 

While VP Mike Pence was in Duluth, Minnesota, during a campaign stop Friday, Swanson and Cuffe took the stage to endorse Trump, while former Duluth Mayor Gary Doty, an independent, also said he was endorsing Trump.  

Swanson, addressing a crowd of more than 250 people, said: 'There’s many people in northern Minnesota who truly are Republicans,' according to the Duluth News Tribune.  

Pence told the crowd that Trump 'stood up to Chinese steel dumping,' a statement that Cuffe appeared to agree with when he proclaimed from the stage that was a former Democrat who now supported Trump, adding that 'Joe Biden did nothing to help the working class.' 

In the mid-2010s, President Obama was behind efforts to put heavy tariffs on Chinese steel products which helped those working in the Iron Range.

The tariffs were meant to help put a stop to China selling its steel for a loss - also known as 'steel dumping' - in an effort to artificially lower prices and stop other producers from being able to compete with them.  

It's unclear what role Biden played in the steel tariffs.  

Doty, who was mayor of Duluth from 1992 to 2004, and attending the event, told the Duluth News Tribune that he was an office holder in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor while in the state Legislature in the 1970s, but an independent after that.  

He told the news outlet that he hailed 'from a DFL family and many of them still are,' noting that his father 'was the head of the Teamsters and the things he fought for — jobs, benefits and working men and women — the Democratic party has lost that.'

Doty said that the Democrats have 'gone so far left I can’t support the Democratic ticket this year.'   

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