Three candidates enter race to fill Rep. Ruth Richardson’s seat 

Richardson, a Democrat from Mendota Heights who was first elected in 2018, announced her sudden resignation Friday night.

Jay Miller, left, Carl Yaeger, center, and Cynthia Callais, right, plan to run for the open seat.

Minnesota Rep. Ruth Richardson’s successor must be sworn in before the start of the next legislative session in February, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, which said it is working with the governor to set a date for a special election.

Richardson, a Democrat from Mendota Heights who was first elected in 2018, announced her sudden resignation Friday night, saying her “season of service is ending effective immediately.”

While still serving in the legislature, Richardson was named CEO last September of Planned Parenthood North Central States, which employs registered lobbyists at the capitol.

She did not recuse herself from voting on abortion-related legislation during the 2023 legislative session.

In July, a top labor union rescinded its endorsement of Richardson amid accusations that Planned Parenthood North Central States’ leadership was engaging in “union busting” activities, which Planned Parenthood denied.

“My run for office was an extension of work I had been doing in [the] community for decades to build a stronger & more equitable state where everyone has the opportunity to thrive & reach their optimal potential. My commitment to that work continues,” Richardson said in her resignation announcement.

Although a date has yet to be picked for a special election, at least three candidates have already declared their intention to run for the open District 52B seat, which covers Mendota Heights and parts of Eagan. The winner will finish the remainder of Richardson’s two-year term.

DFL operative Carl Yaeger wants to bring a “youth perspective” to the House while running a “proudly progressive” campaign.

“In a time where extreme right-wing organizations threaten our very system of government, it’s crucial that we bring new voices into our politics,” he said.

If elected, Yaeger said he will work to “reject fossil fuels,” advocate for teachers unions and gun control, and “protect and expand queer and trans rights in Minnesota.”

Mendota Heights City Council Member Jay Miller confirmed he will be seeking the DFL’s endorsement in the race. He announced on Facebook over the weekend that he plans to run for the seat. On his city council campaign website, Miller lists protecting natural resources, investing in city infrastructure, and “fiscal stewardship” as his top priorities.

Former DFL and Education Minnesota staffer Cynthia Callais, who accused Senate DFL leadership of failing to take her sexual harassment allegations seriously in 2021, also announced her candidacy Wednesday.

“I’m an advocate. Survivor. Leader. Minnesotan. With your support, I will proudly bring our community’s needs to the the Capitol: from the family trying to afford child care, to our neighbors with disabilities who need to be heard, to the kid like me in a foster home right now,” she said.

Callais is a Pro-Choice Minnesota board member.

No Republicans have entered the race yet. Richardson was reelected in 2022 by more than 20 points over her GOP opponent.

This story was updated with Cynthia Callais’ announcement. 


Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.