McDonough is a lifelong resident of St. Paul’s East Side. He served as chair of the Ramsey Board of Commissioners from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, he served as chair of the Regional Rail Authority beginning in 2008 and is interested in working for more efficient and accessible transit to Ramsey County, including re-establishing the Union Depot. McDonough prioritizes the prevention of sexual violence and was presented with an AWARE Award from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. McDonough is a father, husband, and grandfather.


Signed 2016 letter to Congress in support of Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a bill that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences, limit solitary confinement, and introduce other prison and law enforcement reforms.
Source: Senate Judiciary Committee

“It’s a true awareness in our communities that we’ve been doing some things terribly wrong with our kids in particular, but [also] in general, in the whole corrections system.”
Source: Lillie News, 2/26/18

Explained that decision to appoint Jack Serier sheriff was decision to appoint second in command until voters could decide in a letter to St. Paul Strong.
Source: Ramsey County Board, 1/4/18

Spoke in support of Sheriff Serier’s decision to stop holding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in Ramsey County Jail, but said that decision was operational not policy-based: “We have not had a policy discussion about it. … Speaking for myself, I’m supportive of what he’s doing here.”
Source: Pioneer Press via Brainerd Dispatch, 1/23/18

Signed declaration with county officials from across the country in favor of welcoming Syrian refugees.
Source: King County

Signed letter with Cities for Action mayors and county officials the day before President Trump’s inauguration vowing support of immigrant communities, fighting attacks on sanctuary cities, and some specific action steps at home.
Source: Cities For Action, 1/19/18

Voted for 1,400+ housing unit Arden Hills redevelopment project.
Source: Pioneer Press via Alatus, 12/20/16

Helped work on new homeless winter shelter in St. Paul, and plans to commit $200,000 to more outreach workers to homeless: “It’s not just a spot for them to come for a safe night on a mat and then back out on the street. The shelter is here to make that connection, that strong connection with people. …We want to get them connected with resources and get them stabilized so that they don’t have to come back here again the next night.”
Source: Kare 11, 12/1/17

Co-chair of Dorothy Day Campaign, a project to create shelters for homeless adults as well as providing services such as meals, job training, laundry and more.
Source: Dorothy Day Campaign

Spoke in favor of letting People Inc. mental health crisis center move to an East Side convent: “We hear that this is about zoning and it isn’t about people. We hide behind that a lot. We use zoning to keep people out who don’t look like us, don’t believe like us, don’t behave like us. Don’t fool yourself. This is about people. This is about individuals who want to live with dignity in our community, people who need transitional care to help them recover.”
Source: MinnPost, 10/26/15

Voted for property tax break for Minnesota United soccer stadium.
Source: Star Tribune, 9/8/15

Spoke in favor of Vikings stadium on Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in voting to buy land.
Source: Grand Forks Herald, 11/11/15

During first term on Regions Hospital board, helped to facilitate a $179 million expansion and a new mental health facility a few years later.
Source: Minnesota Hospital Association, 9/11/17

Voted for and spoke in favor of e-cigarette ban: “Ramsey County has taken a stand to ensure our residents, workers and visitors aren’t needlessly exposed to tobacco and e-cigarette use when they are in indoor public spaces, or simply entering and leaving buildings.”
Source: Association of Non-Smokers Minnesota, 11/16/16

Signed letter to legislature as part of Coalition Against Bigger Trucks.
Source: Goodhue County

Voted for Ramsey/Washington Counties’ ownership of Newport trash-processing facility. Public ownership was said to help Ramsey and Washington Counties achieve their goal of recycling 75 percent of their waste by 2030; environmental groups said it would give financial incentive to permanent garbage burning.
Source: Woodbury Bulletin, 6/5/15

Voted for 2008 resolution for Ramsey County sexual violence prevention plan.
State of Minnesota Health Department, 3/11/08

Voted to oppose voter ID amendment.
Source: Pioneer Press, 10/8/12

Endorsed campaign to end sexual exploitation in Minnesota.
Source: Minnesota Legislature Office on the Economic Status of Women, 7/31/08

After filing his sex-abuse suit against the Boy Scouts of America: “I think it’s important for me that I use [my position as a public official] to be able to help give other people strength to seek out help.”
Source: Grand Forks Herald, 6/23/15

Called on counties across Minnesota to develop an action plan to prevent sexual violence.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health, 4/13/09


The Twin Cities Daily Planet is a flagship media arts project of Twin Cities Media Alliance that amplifies and connects marginalized voices; this voter guide is an extension of the Daily Planet elections coverage. Every year we’re moving towards a possibility of a more diverse legislature. And with it, we hope comes increased opportunities for communities historically shut out of political processes and power to imagine and enact policies to create a Minnesota that benefits all its constituents.