Night of change for Mpls. City Council as first transgender candidate wins


Minneapolis voters went to the polls Tuesday to elect a brand new City Council, with huge turnover potential following an extended and aggressive marketing campaign that noticed some council incumbents face spirited challenges.

All 13 council seats have been up for grabs, and two have been open. Some of probably the most aggressive races have been contests between left and additional left, with a bunch of activist candidates difficult incumbents, together with among the council’s longest-serving and strongest members.

At least a kind of incumbents grabbed an early victory: Lisa Goodman, first elected in 1997, reclaimed her downtown-area seat.

Andrea Jenkins was elected to an open South Side seat, and can make historical past as the primary transgender lady of coloration elected within the nation.

Incumbent Cam Gordon, who ran unopposed, was re-elected in southeast Minneapolis.

After polls closed at eight p.m. Tuesday, candidates and their supporters gathered at bars and burger joints, neighborhood facilities and marketing campaign headquarters to look at outcomes are available in.

“We are all in party mode,” mentioned Becca Vosler, a volunteer for Third Ward candidate Ginger Jentzen, because the Socialist Alternative candidate’s get together kicked off on the Ukrainian Event Center in northeast Minneapolis. “Everyone’s euphoric.”

Winners had not but emerged within the different council races by the point this version went to press. Minneapolis makes use of ranked-choice voting, through which voters listing their prime three decisions for council member. It can take a number of rounds of counting to find out the winner, and a few races is probably not decided till Wednesday or later.

Divisive election yr

The prevalence of single-issue activist candidates this yr was a brand new phenomenon. It rattled institution DFLers involved concerning the newcomers’ lack of electoral expertise and enterprise leaders who fearful a far-left council could be unfriendly to their pursuits.

In October, downtown Minneapolis enterprise and neighborhood leaders held a information convention to degree criticism at candidates who mentioned in a survey that they imagine Minneapolis may someday be a metropolis with out police.

“I do think there’s what I would characterize as a fringe movement in the city to abolish the police department,” mentioned Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “And I frankly think that the folks who answered that question the way they did are pandering to that very fringe.”

In current weeks, Minneapolis Works — a PAC funded largely by DFLers and tied to enterprise leaders, together with Cramer — made a closing push to badault far-left candidates and badist incumbents together with Council President Barb Johnson and council members Lisa Goodman, John Quincy and Kevin Reich.

Candidates supported by Minneapolis Works made efforts to distance themselves, saying they hadn’t requested for the PAC’s badist and didn’t need it. Candidates on the opposite aspect — a few of whom have been the topic of badault mailers — condemned the movement of outdoor cash into their races.

“I think we should all be worried that this is happening,” mentioned Erica Mauter, who ran in opposition to Quincy within the 11th Ward.

The Ninth Ward race between Council Member Alondra Cano, former Council Member Gary Schiff and nonprofit founder Mohamed Farah additionally took a flip within the closing stretch of the marketing campaign. Minneapolis Works despatched out mailers attacking each Cano and Schiff, and a separate PAC tied to Basim Sabri, proprietor of a south Minneapolis actual property empire, despatched out mailers with particulars from an open letter written by a person Schiff beforehand dated.

Competitive races

Seven of the 13 council races have been thought-about aggressive, together with in wards the place the incumbents gained handily 4 years in the past.

Barb Johnson was locked in a decent race with Phillipe Cunningham, who with a victory would be part of Jenkins as one other transgender council member. Also locked in tight races have been incumbents Kevin Reich and John Quincy. Among first-term incumbents, Cano was main in her race, as was Abdi Warsame. Council Member Blong Yang, the primary Hmong council member, was trailing his challenger Jeremiah Ellison.

Ellison made a reputation for himself on the Fourth Precinct occupation following the 2015 police killing of Jamar Clark. He ran a marketing campaign targeted on constructing racial and socioeconomic equality within the North Side’s Fifth Ward, saying metropolis officers have lengthy ignored it.

In the close by Fourth Ward, Johnson confronted Cunningham, a former coverage aide to Mayor Betsy Hodges.

The North Side typically has low voter turnout, and polling locations have been quiet Tuesday afternoon. While schooling, racism and housing have been points on the prime of some voters’ minds, many mentioned they weren’t particularly motivated by any of the candidates.

“It was loyalty more than anything,” mentioned Johnson voter Deborah LaCroix, who mentioned she’s identified the council president a very long time.

In the Fifth Ward, some residents have been making an attempt to beef up turnout themselves.

“You get out to vote yet?” a lady, who declined to present her identify, mentioned into her telephone after casting her personal vote. “Girl, we need you to vote.”

Alexa Aretz, one of many extra decisive voters, mentioned she forged her poll for Ellison.

“I feel strongly about the election this year,” she mentioned, “and hoping very specifically that at least we can keep Minneapolis and Minnesota a haven of reason.”


Star Tribune employees writers Liz Sawyer and Sharyn Jackson contributed to this report.



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