John Thompson is the incumbent; he’s being challenged by Liz Lee, who has the DFL endorsement.
John Thompson was elected in 2020. In July of 2021, he got pulled over, told the cop that he was a state legislator, and produced a Wisconsin driver’s license. He turned out to have maintained a Wisconsin license for years, renewing it in 2005, 2012 and 2020, despite living in Minnesota. (Maintaining a driver’s license in another state is in the category of things I don’t care about people doing most of the time, but you really should not be doing as a state legislator, what the hell.)
In the wake of that, journalists went digging around in his background and turned up four really dramatic and detailed domestic violence allegations and arrests between 2003 and 2010. That same article mentions a disorderly conduct arrest for something that happened at a hospital (“Thompson is currently on trial in Hennepin County for a disorderly conduct case that stemmed from a visit to North Memorial Hospital, where Thompson and others were asked to leave.”) I had actually missed this one — it involved a confrontation at a hospital in 2019, and can I just say, there’s something deeply fucked up about the fact that that incident resulted in charges and a trial when after a previous arrest and “disorderly conduct” conviction for assaulting a girlfriend, she reported to police that he’d broken the phone cord, choked her with his hands, grabbed her and dragged her back inside when she ran away, punched her in the face, and threw her into a table, all in front of her children — that was “referred to child protection and the Dakota County Attorney” and that seems to have been the end of it. Well, also, the police took the woman to a battered women’s shelter.
In September of 2021, the DFL kicked him out of their caucus.
In March of 2022, he did an interview with the Minnesota Reformer, where he talked about the protest outside (police union rep) Bob Kroll’s house at which there were piñatas of Kroll and his wife (journalist Liz Collins) that got beaten with sticks, and how he regrets that.
In April of 2022, his daughter got pulled over by the police for suspected DUI and Thompson came to the scene to scream at the officers. This is based on what Axtell (the St. Paul Chief of Police) said but Axtell basically dared Thompson to release the bodycam footage and Thompson did not do so. (“I wish state law allowed us to release the body worn camera footage. But we can’t at this time. However, Rep. Thompson or his daughter can. And I encourage them to do so.”) (I have some sympathy for a Black man who wants to get to the scene where his daughter has been arrested. I’m less sympathetic to people who are pulled over on suspicion of DUI who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. The whole situation sounds messy and like Thompson’s intervention escalated things.)
I was curious if anyone had endorsed Thompson this time and checked out his website and was initially very startled to see Hodan Hassan’s name and then realized he’d never updated it after 2020. So all his old endorsements are still listed as if they’re current. I don’t think he has any endorsements.
Liz Lee looks like a nice, normal Democrat. I would absolutely vote for Liz Lee.
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.