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Jeff Blodgett

Jeff Blodgett

St. Paul Native and Campaign Manager for Paul Wellstone's Senatorial Campaign

Born: St. Paul, MN, United States
Heritage: European American

My main advice is for you to think about problems you see in your community and then think about if you can do something about that. Like if your street needs to be cleaned up, can you help do that? If there is a family that needs help, can you help them? Remember, it's not just about ourselves; it's about us together. And that was what Paul Wellstone was about. This is what he used to say, "We all do better, when we all do better."

Jeff Blodgett

St. Paul Native and Campaign Manager for Paul Wellstone's Senatorial Campaign

My name is Jeff Blodgett. I was born May 7, 1961, which makes me 46 years old. I was born in St. Paul, really close to here at the old Miller Hospital. When I was your age, actually, I moved from St. Paul, Minnesota to a place called Concord, Massachusetts.

Are you a baseball fan? It's a big baseball time because the Boston Red Sox are playing in the playoffs. So I became a Red Sox fan when we moved to Massachusetts.

I came back to Minnesota and went to college in Northfield at Carleton College. When I was at college I met someone who would become a close friend and someone who I would work with for many years. You know whom I'm talking about? Exactly, that's where I met Paul Wellstone; he was a teacher—professor of politics.

Paul would teach his students about politics and how people get involved in our democracy. I saw him go from being a teacher to someone who actually went out to try to get elected to office and change things instead of just teach others about it.

He called me up and said I want you to run my campaign for the United States Senate. So I did that, and he won the election. He got over a million people to vote for him!

Paul Wellstone was very passionate about equal rights and he was passionate about having a country where everyone does well and not only some people do well. He was not a boring guy.

When Senator Wellstone died in October 2002, it was very sad and very tragic because we lost a leader and we lost a friend. So myself and some others, including Paul Wellstone's two sons, set up an organization called Wellstone Action. We teach people to pick up where Paul and Sheila left off in their lives. Just like you have Wellstone Elementary School, we have an organization called Wellstone Action.

My mom and dad taught me that it’s important to think about your neighbors and helping other people. The other thing they taught me was how important education is, continuing to learn not just in school but even when you get out of school.

I’m married. My wife's name is Emily and we have two boys. Tim and Jack are my sons and we live in St. Paul. St. Paul's our home, just like it's your home too.

Notation: Download PDF

When All Do Better

Honoring Jeff Blodgett

When All Do Better
(Honoring Jeff Blodgett)

When all do better
We all do better I know
Cuando todo, es meyor
Todo, es meyor, Lo sé!

I was born in St. Paul
Not far from the Cathedral
My father a newspaper
Writer at the time
He was a big reader
That’s one thing my father taught me
Spend time reading books
Not watching TV
Another thing he taught me
Is that we live together
Not just by ourselves
But in community
And that it is important
To think about your neighbor
And to help other people
We are not alone


From St. Paul moved to Concord,
Massachusetts, near to Boston
Where the Red Sox
Are playing now
After school I decided
To go back to Minnesota
To go to Carleton
Where I met Paul Wellstone
He was short, kind of funny
Looking, with big muscles
In his arms he was a wrestler
Moving all the time
A teacher, a professor
A fighter for the people
Equal rights was his passion
As it is of mine


When my friend Paul decided
To run for the Senate
Called me up, wanted me
To run his campaign
I said, “Sure.” Started driving
A Green bus that kept breaking
Down whenever
We would hit the road
Him & I & his wife Sheila
And Paul Scott, his bus driver
We would stop, we would listen
To what folks would say
When he spoke, got excited
About having a country
Where everyone does well
Not just a few


Veterans, family farmers
New immigrants in need of health care
Paul believed war was something
We should never do
When Paul won that election
We were drawn with affection
To that little man
Who lives in me and you


Words & music by Larry Long with Mrs. Hoff’s 4th Grade Class of Paul & Sheila Wellstone Elementary School. St. Paul, Minnesota.

© Larry Long 2007 /BMI