Primary Election 2022: Ramsey County Commissioner, District 5

Rafael Ortega is the incumbent and has two opponents, neither of whom I imagine he’s worried about. Two people will advance.

Rafael E. Ortega (incumbent, DFL-endorsed)
Bill Hosko
Charles S. Barklind

Charles Barklind

The most detailed information on Charles Barklind still seems to be my writeup from 2014. He doesn’t appear to have responded to the questionnaire from the East Metro Voter Guide. Once again, this does not appear to be someone who’s actually running for office.

Bill Hosko

Bill Hosko is a perennial candidate. In 2015 he ran for Ward 2 City Council on a “no parking meters” platform; in 2019 he ran for Ward 2 City Council on a “we should spend millions of dollars to install turnstiles for the light rail, and also bring back fireworks, and also lower taxes” platform; and in 2021 he ran for Mayor on a “build turnstiles, crack down on shoplifting and shame Mayor Carter for having weeds in his yard” platform.

His platform this year seems to be “crime is bad and we should do something about it, lower taxes, make a plan for the old West Publishing site, create railway attractions at Union Station so it stops losing money, and bring back Grand Old Day, Taste of Minnesota, Fourth of July Fireworks, and Cinco de Mayo.” Also he still wants turnstiles. You can read his East Metro Voter Guide responses here.

Rafael E. Ortega

Rafael Ortega is doing fine. My complaints about county-level stuff in Ramsey County are all things that are not overseen by the county board. Also, his opponents are cranks. You can read his East Metro Voter Guide responses here.

I will be voting for Rafael Ortega and if you live in my district I’d encourage you to do the same!


In addition to writing political commentary, I write science fiction and fantasy. My book that came out in April 2021, Chaos on CatNet, takes place in a future Minneapolis. It’s a sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and signed copies of both books are usually available from Dreamhaven. You will also be able to get them from Uncle Hugo’s when it reopens at 2716 E 31st St! (and maybe by mail order now? I’m not sure how much mail order Don is doing while getting ready to re-open.)

I do not have a Patreon or Ko-Fi, but you can make a donation to encourage my work! I get a lot of satisfaction watching fundraisers I highlight getting funded (or, in the case of the Movement Voter fundraiser, continuing to raise money past their goal). I explained back in May why I’m fundraising for the Movement Voter PAC and that fundraiser is still active. (Also, I owe some embarrassing readings of my juvenalia to the Internet.)

I also went looking and found two DonorsChoose fundraisers for classrooms at Bethune Community School in North Minneapolis: math manipulatives for pre-K students (this is such a good idea) and a nice book organizer for a first-grade classroom where the shelving is coming apart.

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Elections 2018: Ramsey County Commissioner, District 5

My husband helpfully pointed out that I’d forgotten to write up this race and we’re voting in it.

I’d forgotten to write it up because while there’s a primary, it’s Rafael Ortega vs. two not particularly serious candidates.

On the ballot:

Rafael E. Ortega
Charles S. Barklind
James Jaeger

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