Mpls City Council: Ward 6

If Ward 5 was the most baffling overall, Ward 6 has the most baffling political candidate: an immigrant Muslim woman who’s running as a Republican on a Democratic platform and who went to a Trump rally. She’s not going to win (I mean, come on, she has “Republican” after her name on the ballot and this ward includes Seward) but I’m probably going to spend more time than is really warranted because of the “wait, hang on, what?” factor here.

This ward’s race also has a DFL-endorsed incumbent and a challenger who is endorsed by all the progressive groups. A fourth candidate, arrested for drunk driving in July, didn’t wind up filing.

On the ballot:

Abdi Warsame (DFL, incumbent, endorsed)
Mohamud Noor (DFL)
Fadumo Yusuf (Republican)

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Mpls City Council: Ward 5

Of all the races I’ve written about so far, I find this one the most baffling.

On the ballot:

Blong Yang (DFL incumbent)
Jeremiah Ellison (DFL endorsed)
Raeisha (RA) Williams (Democratic Party)
Cathy Spann (DFL)

When you’re running for office (and it’s not, you know, Soil & Water Board), there are certain things you should plan to do if you’re actively campaigning. Typically, if you get a questionnaire from a group, you fill it out and send it back for their voter guide. This is a good idea even if you don’t think this group is going to endorse you, because that voter guide goes online and will be read by people from all over the political spectrum. If you get invited to a forum where you’re going to get questions about your positions, you go and participate. You hold events where voters can meet you, and organize events for your volunteers to doorknock and drop lit.

My usual bare-bones test for “is this person even running for the office, or are they just hanging out on the ballot?”) is, “Do they have a website with information about them, a donations link, and a way to volunteer?” All four of these candidates pass this test.

But only two of them are filling out questionnaires, going to forums, and holding events. And neither one of them is the incumbent.

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Mpls City Council: Ward 4

The incumbent City Council rep in Ward 4 is Barb Johnson. She was one of the folks who voted for the Vikings stadium, but held onto her seat, in part because she managed to hold onto the DFL Endorsement. This year, there’s no endorsement, and she has two DFL challengers plus a Libertarian.

On the ballot:

Barb Johnson (DFL, incumbent)
Phillipe Cunningham (DFL)
Stephanie Gasca (DFL)
Dana Hansen (Libertarian)
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Jason Lewis Ambushed me with a Town Hall Meeting

I was at my friend Lyda’s house today for lunch. As we were carrying dishes into her kitchen, the phone rang. She looked at the Caller ID, which said JASON LEWIS.

“Why the is Jason Lewis calling you?” I asked. Jason Lewis is the US Congressional Representative for the 2nd District. Lyda does not live in the 2nd District; she lives in St. Paul, which is represented by Betty McCollum. Lyda has a St. Paul area code and a St. Paul exchange.

“I HAVE NO IDEA,” Lyda said.

“You could pick up and tell him to go to hell,” I suggested, helpfully.

“Feel free,” she said. So I picked up Lyda’s phone, expecting a deeply misguided fundraising phone call. Instead, I got a recording of Jason Lewis telling me that I had been invited to a Telephone Town Hall and if I wanted to stay on the line, I’d have the opportunity to hear from Congressman Lewis and (maybe) to ask him a question. Lyda was OK with me monopolizing her phone line and continuing to listen in, so I stayed on the line, pressed the keys to be added to the “ask question” queue, and live-Tweeted it.

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Mpls City Council: Ward 3

(Wondering where Ward 2 is? Ward 2: your City Council Rep will be Cam Gordon. If you don’t like him, you can run against him yourself in four years.)

Ward 3 is Jacob Frey’s ward, so there is no incumbent. The four candidates:

Ginger Jentzen (Socialist Alternative)
Samantha Pree-Stinson (Green)
Tim Bildsoe (DFL) (Edited to add: was apparently GOP in his last electoral job)
Steve Fletcher (DFL, has the actual endorsement)

It doesn’t look like Tim Bildsoe sought endorsement (the article I found about that ward convention doesn’t mention him). In this Minnesota Daily article, it sounds like the socialist is the one who’s raising the most money. (Dear Minnesota Daily: an actual date on each article is nice. “Last updated 20 hours ago” doesn’t mean nearly as much as you seem to think it does.)

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Mpls City Council: Ward 1

I’m going to just go through these in order, I think, for every ward except Ward 2, in which Cam Gordon is running unopposed.

Ward 1 has three candidates:

Kevin Reich (DFL, incumbent)
Jillia Pessenda (DFL)
John Hayden (Independent)

There was also a candidate named Zachary Wefel for a while. He is not on the ballot. It’s not clear to me when he dropped out. (His campaign Facebook page refers to him as “former Ward 1 candidate Zachary Wefel” but his campaign website is still up.

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