Any Minnesotan who believes government should be fair and representative lost a major champion on February 3. FairVote Minnesota board members, staff and members all pause today to mourn the passing of Sally Pillsbury, a remarkable woman who shared our passion for Ranked Choice Voting and the belief that partisanship has no place in good government. Both Republicans and Democrats noted her impact on Minnesota, including DFL Gov. Mark Dayton who called her one of the state’s “great civic leaders.”

An active Republican, she fought for gender equity and supported female candidates at a time when women were largely absent from the State Capitol. Sally, and her late husband George Pillsbury were deeply influential for seven decades and often took a bipartisan approach to issues. They also were staunch and eloquent supporters of democracy reform, and Ranked Choice Voting in particular.

“RCV discourages the kind of attack politics we've seen over the last several elections and instead promotes campaigning based on ideas and positions,” the couple wrote in MinnPost in 2010.

“It is a benefit to candidates of any political stripe with ideas and proposals and who want the interests and preferences of their community to be reflected at the ballot box. Let the parties put their ideas forward, let them stand in the light of an issue-oriented electoral process and be judged by the voters.”

Everyone at FairVote Minnesota is deeply saddened by the passing of Sally Pillsbury. Her vision, generosity and passion for making our state better was unsurpassed. We are honored and gratified to be among the civic organizations she championed and supported. Sally Pillsbury will be greatly missed.