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Don Davis, Forum News Service, Published October 19 2012

Minnesotans remember Paul Wellstone

ST. PAUL – Some testimonials on a Website set up for the 10th anniversary of Sen. Paul Wellstone’s death:

To me, every time I heard the name Paul Wellstone, I thought of the positive possibilities of the American democratic process. The possibility that we could change the world one person at a time, working together towards the greater good.

– Emma Stensvaag, Fergus Falls, Minn.

Back in the ‘60s there were hawks and doves in D.C. All I see there now are hawks. We need more doves in D.C. All we are saying is give peace a chance. Paul had the courage to do that.

– Cynthia Kafut-Hagen, Hibbing, Minn.

Paul was, and is, my political hero. I, along with many of my good friends growing up in Minnesota, were driven by Paul’s example to organize to make this world a better place.

– Ryan Nagle, Fargo

I am in public office because of Paul and I often talk about his impact on how I approach my work. He taught me that community organizing and service in elected office are not mutually exclusive, so I was elected to the Minnesota House as a community organizer.

– State Rep. Frank Hornstein, Minneapolis

Paul and Sheila Wellstone were friends. They were mentors. ... Memories are good. Looking back is necessary. But pushing forward and making the world a fairer, more just, more peaceful and kind place is what Paul and Sheila’s politics, and lives, represented.

– Erik Peterson, Duluth, Minn.

Learning about Paul Wellstone’s legacy inspired me to get involved in politics. I attended the first Camp Wellstone in the campaign track. ... While I am now teaching high school English, I remain politically active and engaged.

– Mindy Christianson, Fergus Falls, Minn.

I often speak about the way that Paul’s decision to engage in electoral politics inspired me to consider this way of giving back to my community, and how Camp Wellstone made it possible to turn that dream into reality. ... When politics are being practiced as some form of “blood sport” it is so important to have Paul as an example of values-based political leadership that put respect for others – no matter party affiliation – as the guiding principle.

– Mark Ritchie, Minnesota secretary of state

More: http://www.wellstone.org/legacy/tributes

Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum. He can be reached at (651) 290-0707 or ddavis@forumcomm.com

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