Rebecca Williamson (left), Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, petitions July 4 in Minneapolis to put SWP ticket on ballot
Rebecca Williamson, 24, a meat packer and member of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 789, is heading the socialist ticket. She is running for U.S. Senate in the seat now held by Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL).
We are presenting a working-class alternative to the Republicans, Democrats, and other capitalist parties, Williamson told the Militant. Every plank in the socialist platform is aimed at uniting working people worldwide to fight for the interests of workers, farmers, and other exploited producers. We need this unity to advance struggles by workers to organize unions and use union power to effectively resist the bosses attacks on wages, working conditions, dignity, and safety on the job.
SWP campaign supporters got a positive response today to what we were campaigning for from a mix of people, of different ages, occupations, and origins, Williamson said.
We are the only candidates in Minnesota calling for withdrawing U.S. and all other occupation troops from Iraq and Afghanistan now, without any conditions, she added. We are the only candidates saying U.S. hands off Venezuela and Cuba and opposing Washingtons sanctions and threats of military action against Iran and north Korea.
Williamsons opponents include Republican Mark Kennedy, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesotas 6th Congressional District (C.D.); Amy Klobucher, the Hennepin County prosecutor, of the DFL; Robert Fitzgerald of the Independence Party, which was founded by supporters of millionaire Ross Perot in the 1990s (renamed the Reform Party for a period, it elected Jesse Ventura as Minnesota governor in 1998); and Michael Cavlan, a registered nurse, with the Greens.
The SWP ticket includes Brian Taylor, 33, also a meat packer, for governor. Taylor has been a leader in the coalition in the Twin Cities that has organized marches to demand legalization for all immigrants. Supporters of the Socialist Workers campaign have set a goal of gathering 4,600 signatures by July 18 to place the two candidates on the ballot in Minnesota.
The Socialist Workers ticket also includes Nelson Gonzalez, 56, for Lt. Governor; Julian Santana, 25, and a member of the Young Socialists, for U.S. Congress in the 5th C.D., based in Minneapolis; and Tom Fiske, 62, for U.S. Congress in the 4th C.D., based in St. Paul.
Tom Fiske contributed to this article.
Supporters of the Socialist Workers campaign in New York begin petitioning July 11, aiming to collect 30,000 signaturesdouble the state requirementin two weeks to put the SWP ticket on the ballot in that state for the November elections (for the socialist ticket in New York see list of SWP candidates across the United States who have been announced so far). Those who would like to help can contact the SWP campaign headquarters in Manhattan at 306 W. 37th St., 10th floor, New York, NY 10018; Tel: (212) 736-2540.
Initial list of Socialist Worker Party candidates in 2006