Minnesota graduate gives convention speech while at work

Around 2 a.m. Saturday morning, Erin Maye Quade began giving birth.

It was tough timing. This is going to be a great day. In just a few hours, Maye Quade was to gather everything and give a great speech.

Maye Quade, 36, ran for state senate, but she first needed to win the support of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party to become her party’s nominee.

Mitchell Walstad, Maye Quade’s campaign manager, told HuffPost that they asked the organizers of the event to move up at the time of the approval of their race. They reached agreement to do so, but only after “pushback,” he said.

“So we did not feel there was any room for maneuver to ask for the suspension of the endorsement, even though we would have preferred to do so on another date,” Walstad said.

“We went into the day without making sure she would make it to the convention at all,” Walstad added. “She came and – we had a little personal campaign room. So she would go in there to get her contractions. And then she said, ‘Well, I have 15 or 20 minutes until my next contraction happens. So I want to go out and talk with delegates during this time and try to penetrate it. “

Remarkably, Maye Quade pushed through for hours – and video of her speech shows how hard it was. Towards the end of her remarks, Maye Quade had to stop and lean over as she was in labor. The audience cheered for support.

Watch video of the speech above.

Not only did Maye Quade give her speech while she was in labor, but she stayed in a question and answer session.

“There were points where it was her turn to answer and they had to change the order and get the other candidate to answer because she could not speak because she had a contraction in front of everyone,” Walstad said.

“I think they would have stopped this convention for any other medical emergency, but instead they put a black woman through enormous pain …”

– Emma McBride, Women Win

Maye Quade lasted through the first round of voting, with delegates voting on who will be the nominee for the DFL (Minnesota’s version of the Democratic Party). Her opponent, Justin Emmerich, got the most votes in the round – though not with enough to win – but Maye Quade decided she was going to the hospital and could not do the one-on-one work needed – personal conversations to persuade delegates to come to her side – to succeed in the second round. So she withdrew from the fight.

Walstad confirmed that they never explicitly asked for the convention to stop because Maye Quade had to leave. According to local TV station Fox 9, a proposal to suspend the case would have required two-thirds of the delegates to approve.

Maye Quade supporters said they were disappointed that the convention leadership did not act on its own.

Walstad said he thought if someone had another medical emergency, such as a heart attack, the vote would have been stopped.

“She would actively not be able to get up anymore because she was giving birth and going to the hospital. And there was no such accommodation in the way that there would have been if someone had another hypothetical emergency,” Walstad said.

“I think they would have stopped this convention for any other medical emergency, but instead they put a black woman through enormous pain and put her in front of the room in one of her most vulnerable moments in life – in front of a room of 200 people, “added Emma McBride, political director of Women Winning, who works with Maye Quade’s wife and was a campaign surrogate.” I felt really disappointed that no one in the room who had the power to do that put an end to this.”

Maye Quade served in the State House from 2017 to 2019, just the third black woman to serve in the chamber. In 2018, she ran as the DFL-approved candidate for lieutenant governor, becoming the first LGBTQ person approved on the ticket by a major political party in Minnesota. (She lost the primary.)

Minnesota has never had a black woman in the state Senate.

In 2017, Maye Quade became one of the most visible faces of the MeToo movement in Minnesota when she and other women accused a state senator of sexual harassment.

After Maye Quade took to the hospital, Emmerich ran without resistance and won the DFL nomination. He tweeted about his victory Saturday.

Emmerich did not return a request for comment, but he told Fox 9 after the event: “I’m just focused on running the race and winning in November. Ultimately, we want to make sure we keep the seat in DFL hands.”

Clare Oumou Verbeten, a DFL-approved candidate running for state Senate, offered her support for Maye Quade in a Facebook post Sunday morning.

“It hurts me to see this very public display of a black woman penetrating the pain, especially when the obvious ignorance and rejection of our pain has led to alarming frequencies of us dying during childbirth,” she wrote.

Both the McBride and Maye Quade campaign said they did not blame any single person for what happened Saturday. But they were disappointed that there was no process to respond properly.

“Seeing what happened and watching a DFL process fails once again, another woman, another colored woman, and exposing someone through something as difficult as it just confirms why we do as we do. We need pro-choice women wherever decisions are made, ”McBride said.

Maye Quade successfully gave birth to a little girl around noon. 02.00 Sunday. Both mother and daughter are well.

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