Council member throws hat in Senate race

Todd Podgorski
Todd Podgorski

Podgorski seeking DFL endorsement

South St. Paul City Council member Todd Podgorski announced he intends to run for the open state Senate District 52 seat.

“This is a position I’ve been interested in for some time now, and I want to work for justice for all,” Podgorski, also a Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputy, said in a statement.

Since he was young, Podgorski said he has been interested in politics and being a peace officer, so he sees this more as a calling.

He is seeking the DFL endorsement for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Jim Metzen, a South St. Paul DFLer. 

Podgorski, 42, said he served one term on the South St. Paul School Board where he worked to reduce class sizes and supported the move to offer all-day kindergarten for no fees.

Currently serving his second term on the South St. Paul City Council, Podgorski said he was especially proud to have supported the voter-approved park referendum to improve South St. Paul parks and Doug Woog Arena.

Podgorski also currently serves on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and the Cable Commission NDC4, where he sits on the executive committee.

During his state Senate campaign, Podgorski said he plans to focus on education, campaign finance reform, mental health, criminal justice and the park system.

“Those are the things as state senator I hope to work on and improve,” Podgorski said.

Podgorski added his background working as a union member, for the city, for the county and being on the school board gives him varied experience from the private, non-profit and government sector. He said these experiences help him understand what is happening in the community.

Podgorski noted in his release that five generations of his family have lived in South St. Paul.

“I believe it is important to be more practical than political when solving problems,” Podgorski said. 

Senate District 52 DFLers will be holding their party caucus at Henry Sibley High School on March 1 at 6:30 p.m.

—Hannah Burlingame

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