This has been Brad Bourn’s seat since 2009, but he’s stepping down this year. (His Facebook page has a bunch of pictures of his adorable little baby, so my guess is that he wants to spend more time with his family.)
(I’ll note that there is an Elizabeth Shaffer running in District 4. The Shaffer/Schlaefer thing has been throwing people. Also, Cathy’s last name is pronounced “uh-Benny.” I will be linking to a voter forum where the moderator mispronounces her name a lot, so I just wanted to let everyone know up front how it’s supposed to be pronounced, so that you can cringe along with me if you watch the forum.)
Having not merely gone down a rabbit hole but temporarily moved into a rabbit warren of Park Board meetings while researching District 3, I feel very prepared to just whip through this one. Let’s see how fast I can get it done.
A note: Elizabeth Shaffer is running for Park Board District 4, and Barb Schlaefer is running for Park Board District 6, and I’ve seen a number of people stumble over the Shaffer/Schlaefer similarity. There are two separate people, and only the last names are particularly similar.
Billy Menz is the only person running. He’s endorsed by pretty much everyone, including the guy who beat him for the seat four years ago (Chris Meyer, who decided not to run again). He looks terrific and I expect he’ll be fine. But regardless, he’s the only person on the ballot.
(I went ahead and wrote a post about him because otherwise, as it gets close to the election in November, I will get a lot of confused messages from people wanting to know if I’m going to cover this race.)
If you’ve been waiting for my Kate Knuth vs. Sheila Nezhad deep dive, that’s not going to happen in this post. There are seventeen people running for Mayor of Minneapolis, and I’m pretty sure only three of them have any chance of winning (Kate, Sheila, and Jacob). This is going to be the post where I give you an overview of all the other candidates, because you do get three slots, and if you don’t want Jacob, you should not rank him at all.
Of the fourteen I’m going to talk about today, some are real candidates with serious policy proposals. But if you look for an endorsements page, you mostly won’t find one; if you look them up on social media, they have a handful of followers. (Or they have thousands but they never interact — you can purchase Twitter followers but it’s super obvious when you do.)
Before we get started, I’m going to show you a picture of my new cat. First, you know: cat. But also: I’m going to include some screen shots in this post and putting in a picture of my cat first makes it easier to avoid a text-heavy screen shot turning into the featured image that shows up everywhere.