Ward 2 City Council candidate runs quiet campaign

Diana Newberry is a member of the Socialist Workers Party.

Alexandria Chhith

Diana Newberry works in a candy factory during the day and goes door-knocking with a small group to campaign for the Socialist Workers Party at night.

Newberry is a Minneapolis City Council candidate for Ward 2, which covers parts of campus and other University of Minnesota neighborhoods. She said her ideas on economic and social issues could benefit the area, which has been represented by Green Party candidate Cam Gordon since 2006.

While working to secure a spot on the City Council, Newberry is also looking to spread the messages of the Socialist Workers Party.

“She’s very passionate about the importance about posing an alternative to the two main parties,” said Joanne Murphy, Newberry’s colleague in the Socialist Workers Party.

If she’s picked for the position, Newberry said, the only issue she would push is improving workers’ rights and helping them mobilize.

The Socialist Workers Party supports increasing state and federal minimum wage, improving working conditions and reforming city departments, Newberry said.

After Newberry spent more than a decade volunteering for the organization — including three years in Minnesota — her colleagues urged her to run for a City Council spot.

She’s running with a strong dedication to the Socialist Workers Party, and said she would travel and protest on issues, like abortion and workers’ rights, anytime and anywhere.

After her eight-hour workday as a production employee at Pearson Candy Company in St. Paul, Newberry has been spending her evenings going to neighborhood doors, ramping up support for her party by selling Socialist books and subscriptions to the Militant — the party’s new publication.

Murphy said Newberry is “very energetic” when she goes door-knocking and she receives positive feedback from residents.

“I’ve been offered tilapia straight off the grill once,” Newberry said.

Murphy said Newberry is upfront with her strategies when she’s campaigning and would use the City Council seat to work for issues supported by members of the Socialist Workers Party.

Newberry’s political resume extends beyond her current campaign for City Council. In the past, she said, she briefly ran for governor of Iowa. She also ran for other political offices in California.

Gordon and Ward 3 City Councilwoman Diane Hofstede said they weren’t familiar with Newberry’s platform and her presence in the race has been quiet.

“It’s nice that someone else entered the Ward 2 City Council race,” Gordon said.

Having candidates like Newberry in the election, Hofstede said, is part of the democratic system.

“I look forward to meeting [Newberry] on the campaign trail one of these days,” Gordon said.

Though Newberry’s campaign hasn’t been as visible as her opponents’, she said the people she’s met on the campaign trail will remember her name when they go out to vote.