This week, news outlets have been reporting on Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan’s election as Chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, becoming the first Native woman to lead a national party committee. As Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, Lt. Gov. Flanagan is the “highest-ranking Indigenous woman in statewide office.”
As the 19th reported, as Chair, Lt. Gov. Flanagan “will play an important role in fundraising, supporting candidates and reaching voters of color in swing states” during a critical election year. The DLGA has already made commitments to spend in key 2024 races, including the North Carolina Lieutenant Governor race, where the DLGA plans to spend $2 million. In her interview with Indian Country Today, Lt. Gov. Flanagan highlighted the importance of turning out Native voters and the strong partnership between the Tribal Nations and the Biden-Harris Administration.
The Messenger notes that with Lt. Gov. Flanagan’s background in organizing, that will “be a focus as the DLGA chair.” As they reported, in Minnesota, Democrats “took full control of the state legislature in 2022, and “notched major policy victories,” from codifying abortion rights to passing paid family and medical leave. Lt. Gov. Flanagan highlighted the important role that “organizing, building infrastructure” played in getting things done – and that will be the same mission she brings to leading the DLGA.
Lt. Gov. Flanagan will lead the “most diverse group of state elected officials in the country,” with the 19th noting that “Democratic lieutenant governors already are a diverse group of statewide elected officials in the country: Out of 20, 12 are people of color and 14 are women.
Read the highlights below:
Huffington Post: Peggy Flanagan Becomes First Native Woman Elected To Lead A National Party Committee
She noted that of the nation’s 25 current Democratic lieutenant governors, 12 are people of color and 14 are women. “We are the most diverse group of statewide elected officials in the country,” she said. “This is the next generation of party leaders.”
The 19th: Highest-ranking Indigenous woman in statewide office will lead Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association
“Our democracy functions best when it accurately reflects the community and seeks to represent,” Flanagan said. “And so for a very long time, women, people of color, Indigenous folks were not at decision-making tables, and too many decisions were made without us. I think if we’re going to have strong policies and strong outcomes for communities, women and BIPOC folks need to be at the table.”
KSTP: Flanagan picked to chair Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association
Their selections come after Minnesota enacted several pieces of legislation — including abortion protections, a paid family and medical leave program, free school lunches and protections for transgender individuals — prioritized by Democrats with the DFL in control of the state House, Senate and governor’s office.
The Messenger: Peggy Flanagan Becomes First Native Woman To Lead a Major Party Committee
“A lot of the states that we will be targeting like North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, as well as for the presidential in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona have significant Native populations that I think can absolutely have the power to swing an election,” Flanagan said.
Indian Country Today: Interview with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan
“Lieutenant governor’s are doers. Many of us came from organizing work and movement work, advocacy, and now we’re at the decision making table and moving these agendas that we’ve been working on for quite some time.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz: “Congratulations, @peggyflanagan! Governors know how important lieutenant governors are to delivering big wins. I’ve seen this firsthand as Peggy and I’ve worked to invest in education, establish free school meals, expand voting rights, and reduce child poverty in Minnesota.”
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “Congratulations Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan on being selected to serve as chair of @DemocraticLGs!”
Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith: “Tim Walz is running @DemGovs. Peggy Flanagan is running @DemocraticLGs. I’m Vice Chair of the @DSCC. We’re ready to bring our Minnesota nice and Midwestern values to help Democrats up and down the ticket!
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison: Democrats across the country continue to break barriers, improve representation, and make history. Congratulations to Lt. Gov. @PeggyFlanagan!
Pennsylvania LG Austin Davis: “Proud to be recognized by my fellow LGs and thrilled to help lead the @DemocraticLGs, with Chair @peggyflanagan! Democratic LGs are the most diverse group of elected officials in the country, and we are taking action on issues like gun violence and repro freedom.”
Kentucky LG Jacqueline Coleman: Congratulations to my friend and fellow lieutenant governor from Minnesota!
Illinois LG Juliana Stratton: “Congratulations to my friend and fellow LG @peggyflanagan on making history as the next Chair of the @DemocraticLGs! She is highly qualified, a compassionate leader, and will take us far as an organization. Let’s go!
Maryland LG Aruna Miller: “A hearty congratulations to my friend, Lt. Governor of MN @peggyflanagan, for becoming the new chair of the @DemocraticLGs. She becomes the 1st native woman to lead a party committee. #RepresentationMatters”
Michigan SOS Jocelyn Bensen: Congratulations @peggyflanagan on your election as chair of the @DemocraticLGs! And becoming the first Native woman in history to chair a national political committee! Shine on my friend!”
DFL Chair Ken Martin: “A HUGE congratulations to one of my great friends in politics, my sister, @peggyflanagan on her election as Chair of the @DemocraticLGs. I’ve known Peggy for over 20 yrs- there is no one better to lead this organization than her, great choice!”