Husband and Wife Team Take on Massive Challenge in Local Race


While some couples spend their summers boating on the lakes or just soaking up the sun, husband and wife Robert and Mali Marvin of Brooklyn Center are spending their summer campaigning for a state Senate and House seat.

Both work full time and are mother and father to three boys, the youngest is in high school. The Marvins are running in the same Senate district on the Republican ticket. Senate Candidate Robert is a consulting engineer for his own company. His wife Mali works in packaging and is an immigrant from China. Mali says her conservatism and love for America came from seeing the tragedies in Tienanmen Square – where hundreds of people were killed while protesting for democracy. Mali explains, “Everybody on the street looked like their mom and dad had just died – it was SO sad. I think that was the moment I told myself – ‘I’m leaving China.'”

Robert decided to volunteer himself and Mali to run after no other Republicans stepped up to the plate within the local party and as a complete surprise to his wife.  Mali joked, “I think that’s crazy because I have a full time job – and one in a household running for a position like this is more than enough. But, you know, he is Robert and he doesn’t listen to me.”

Robert decided he would be the Senate candidate since his wife performed well in her 2014 House bid. The current lawmakers are Senator Chris Eaton (who has held office since 2011) and eight-term Representative Debra Hilstrom, who is being primaried by local candidate Jim Richards. The Marvins say they look forward to the chance to work together at the legislature if they can swing the heavily-democratic district.

In 2014 Mali won nearly 33% of the vote against Hilstrom, while Senator Eaton took home a massive victory with 81% of the vote in 2012.