Hepola appoints school administrator Uselman as running mate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former broadcaster Cory Hepola, who is running for governor with the Minnesota Forward Party, named school administrator Tamara Uselman as his running mate on Tuesday.

Uselman, who lives in Pelican Rapids, is director of equity and inclusion for Fargo Public Schools in North Dakota. Prior to that, she was an assistant superintendent of Moorhead Public Schools in Minnesota. She also served as Superintendent of Bismarck Public Schools in North Dakota and Superintendent of Perham-Dent Public Schools in Minnesota.

“I’m pretty passionate about creating an education system that’s ready to deliver what kids need today,” Uselman said at a news conference. “I also strongly believe that taxpayers deserve an academic return on their investment in education.”

Hepola said it will unveil an education platform next month that will include optional “continuous schooling” so children, wherever they live, can choose to focus on things like science, technology , engineering, mathematics or language arts. He said it would be in addition to in-person classes, not like the remote learning schools were using earlier in the pandemic.

Democrats slammed Hepola as a spoiler over the possibility he could strip incumbent Governor Tim Walz’s votes in what is expected to be a close election. But Hepola said he also hoped to attract moderate Republicans put off by GOP endorsement Scott Jensen.

Uselman said she has never been politically active before and has voted for Republicans and Democrats, including Joe Biden for president in 2020.

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Martha K. Merrill