2015 Saint Paul City Council Race and Sunday Liquor Sales

The 2015 Minnesota legislative session has thus far been a busy one with lawmakers introducing several bills aimed at easing the restrictions on Sunday off-sale liquor sales. Bills include everything from a Sunday sales pilot program, to growlers for qualifying brewers, a local option allowing municipalities to lift the ban, and full repeal.

SundaySalesMN

If legislation supporting a local option to allow individual municipalities to lift the ban on Sunday sales were to pass this session, the future of Sunday liquor, beer and wine sales in the city of Saint Paul will be in the hands of its city council members.

With that in mind we reached out to 21 candidates who have announced their intent to run for city council seats across all seven of Saint Paul’s Council Wards. We asked all of the candidates to respond to the following questions:

1. Minnesota Farm Wineries are allowed to sell bottles of wine on Sundays. Should qualifying local brewers be allowed to sell 64 oz / 750 ml growlers of beer on Sundays?
2. Several bills have been introduced to the 2015 state legislature that may ease or repeal the statewide ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales. If the Sunday liquor ban is repealed, would you vote to allow Saint Paul liquor stores to individually choose whether or not to operate on Sundays?

The candidates’ responses are below or follow the links for a specific ward.

Ward 1
Ward 2
Ward 3
Ward 4
Ward 5
Ward 6
Ward 7

*Editors note: If there are any candidates that would like to be included in this guide or if you find any inaccuracies, please send an email here, we will continue to update this poll as more information is received.

Ward 1

Trahern Crews – Green Party
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes. Brewers should be able to sell 64 oz/750 ml growlers on Sunday.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes! Saint Paul could use the tax dollars that escape to Wisconsin every Sunday.”

Dai Thao – DFL Incumbent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes, if there is an option to opt out by retailers without penalty.”

Samakab Hussein – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Mohamed Said – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Ward 2

Marit Brock – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes, I support Sunday growler sales, and I am proud to see the growth of local breweries in Ward 2 and throughout Saint Paul. I want to make sure that Ward 2 is a great environment for small, family-owned businesses that really make up our American dream, and this includes local brewers in our ward like Bad Weather, Great Waters, Tin Whiskers, Vine Park, and Wabasha Brewing. We should work hard to support our local family-owned businesses and not restrict their business with rules that may no longer fit our times.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes, I support the right of Saint Paul liquor stores to individually choose whether or not to operate on Sundays. I believe that the ban on Sunday sales is outdated and no longer reflects the needs of our communities. Many liquor stores are small businesses, and we should support their efforts to succeed and not restrict their business with rules like a ban on Sunday sales.”

Louis Garcia – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“I support brewers, wineries, and businesses that sell their products. The city shouldn’t impose any law that prevents these establishments to serve consumers seven days a week. I’m opposed to this restriction at the state level and will be an advocate to repeal the statewide ban on Sunday off-sale liquor, beer, and wine sales.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“The state should not require or dictate what days of the week a businesses should be open. Each business should be able to decide if they want to keep their establishment open on Sunday. If the ban is repealed I will be an advocate for Saint Paul’s business interest and should the state contradict our interests, I will work at the city level to protect our businesses.”

Cara Martner – Independence Party
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“I certainly believe if Wineries are allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays that local qualifying brewers should be allowed to do the same.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Although I am personally disappointed by the amount of effort and focus that goes into fighting the Sunday liquor ban year after year when there are more important issues to focus on for the future of Saint Paul, I agree that each liquor store should be given the right to individually choose whether or not to operate on Sundays.”

Rebecca Noecker – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes, absolutely. Maintaining separate standards for wineries and breweries makes no sense and is discriminatory. The exciting interest in local brewing promises to bring much-needed local business to our city, expanding our tax base and making Saint Paul more attractive to young professionals and recent college graduates looking for a place to call home. We should be doing all we can to encourage and support this burgeoning field; imposing a double-standard does exactly the opposite.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes. While I am in favor of repealing the ban on Sunday liquor, beer and wine sales, I believe business owners have the right to decide their operating hours based on what they feel will make most sense for their business.”

Darren Tobolt – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“I’m excited by the expanding brewing economy in Saint Paul. I understand that this is an issue for consideration by the state legislature and would require a state law change. If that law were to pass, I would support modifying necessary city ordinances to support the small brewing community. Something I believe we can do under current law is change our ordinance to allow growler sales until 10pm on weeknights, I would like to explore that option to encourage development in Saint Paul.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“If the State of Minnesota were to allow Sunday sales, I would certainly be open to easing city ordinances to support all of our small businesses.”

Ward 3

Chris Tolbert – DFL Incumbent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes. Minnesota’s current blue laws are out-of-date and bad for our local business owners. The City should take steps to ease these restrictions. In Minnesota we have a booming craft beer industry and we should support these entrepreneurs and give Minnesota consumers the option to buy a growler of their favorite brew on a Sunday.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes, should the Sunday liquor ban be repealed, I would vote to allow Saint Paul liquor stores to individually choose whether or not to operate on Sundays. That decision should be in the hands of the store owners. Any attempt to continue to ban the sale of off-sale liquor in Saint Paul after a repeal of the statewide sunday liquor ban would negatively impact Saint Paul businesses and Saint Paul residents.”

Ward 4

Russ Stark – DFL Incumbent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Yes.”

Curtis Stock – Independent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes of course. Politicians cowering to their big contributors crushed this item before. It makes no sense to make a great craft beer community that brings people here then tell patrons and visitors that they can’t take some home to enjoy because it’s Sunday.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Again, yes of course. A business should be allowed to decide when they are open for business. On-sale is legal on Sunday and off-sale should be as well.”

Ward 5

David Glass – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“As a small business owner in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years I know and understand the struggles of revenue streams. I believe in promoting local businesses, all businesses should be able to operate on Sundays if they choose. I believe local breweries should have the same options as everyone else we need a fair and equal business environment.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“As a small business owner in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years I know and understand the struggles of revenue streams. I believe in promoting local businesses, all businesses should be able to operate on Sundays if they choose. If elected to the City Council, I would vote to give liquor businesses the same opportunities to operate on Sundays as everyone else.”

Amy Brendmoen – DFL Incumbent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
Yes.

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
Yes.

Ward 6

James Lockwood – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“In more ways than one, Minnesota’s craft brewers and distillers are revitalizing whole neighborhoods and communities and helping to bring new vitality to our cities and state. It only makes sense to bring parity between these artisan industries that are giving the state a national reputation for creativity, quality and livability.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Saint Paul’s residents deserve to be able to shop where they live, whether it’s a Friday, Monday, or Sunday. Additionally, as a city, we can’t afford to see our tax revenues go to neighboring communities because of differing blue laws. Personally, I would like to buy wine on Sunday to go with the dinner I bought on Sunday, so, yes, I would support Sunday liquor sales in Saint Paul.”

Dan Bostrom – DFL Incumbent
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Ward 7

Elliott Nickell – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Saint Paul has many great small craft breweries, and they should be supported. I support craft beer Sunday growler sales.“

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“I support the repeal of the ban. Currently, Minnesota loses out on tax revenue to Wisconsin, because people drive there to buy beer, liquor, or wine on Sundays. As I am writing this, on Super Bowl Sunday, many people are driving to Wisconsin to buy beer. I would support allowing liquor stores to decide whether or not to operate on Sundays.”

Jane Prince – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“My answer to both questions is an enthusiastic yes. One of my campaign priorities is to increase our city’s support of locally owned independent businesses, who offer tremendous vitality to the local economy. I am very supportive of removing barriers to the success of local businesses.”

Paul Sawyer – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“I would like to see this expanded to local brewers. Saint Paul has a thriving brewing industry which should be supported as much as possible.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“Should the legislature allow for Sunday sales, I am in favor of allowing liquor stores in Saint Paul to engage in Sunday sales. This option is good for consumers and for businesses.”

John Slade – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
“Yes, if farm wineries can sell their product on Sundays, local brewers should be able to sell growlers. This is not only justice, but it’s important for promoting local businesses and local production.”

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
“If bars are allowed to sell liquor on Sundays, then off-sale should follow suit. There are only two days that most people have off of work, and it makes no sense to keep them from buying wine, beer, and liquor to take home on one of those two days.”

Steve Frazer – DFL
Candidate supports Sunday growler sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Candidate supports repeal of the ban on Sunday off-­sale liquor, beer, and wine sales?
*Candidate has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

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Andrew is just a guy that likes beer. You can usually find him on the twitters or spending time with his family.