On both the state and federal level, Minnesota’s elected officials tend to trend in favor of Democratic candidates. Democrats control all five statewide elected offices, and both U.S. Senate seats; but only half of the state’s eight U.S. congressional seats. They also have control of the State House, while the GOP controls the State Senate.
The list of the political action committees (PACs) that are active in Minnesota state-level politics is dominated by well-funded entities that exist specifically to support the agenda of one party or the other. This is certainly the case for the PAC that ended the 2020 election cycle at the very top of the list, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (MN DFL) State Central Committee.
In 1944, the Minnesota Democratic Party merged with the Farmer-Labor Party, forming what is now the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. According to their website, the MN DFL “supports and works to enact the principles of the Democratic Party.”
The website also lists the State Central Committee’s duties, including considering party issues, conducting training, supporting party building activities, granting charters to new community outreach organizations, filling vacancies for positions elected by the State Convention or Business Conference, endorsing candidates for statewide office between contentions, and more.
As the number one PAC in the state by total contributions, and the controlling party’s central committee, the MN DFL boasted $15,997,473 in total contributions during the 2020 election cycle. It was also the top PAC for the 2018 cycle as well as for cumulative contributions since 2017 (the earliest available campaign finance data on Transparency USA).
The MN DFL made $10,895,086 in expenditures during the 2020 cycle, with contributions to the state’s DFL House and Senate Caucuses. Additionally, the PAC supported a number of other state’s Democratic Party funds, including North Dakota, Indiana, South Carolina, Florida, and Kentucky, as well as a number of Democratic candidates.
Our Spotlight series highlights individual candidates, donors and PACs in state-level politics. All 2020 data is now available for the state of Minnesota. Subscribe to be informed when campaign finance data for the 2022 election cycle (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022) becomes available.