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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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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Election 2017: City Races in Minneapolis and St. Paul

I really need to get going on election blogging, but I have a novel that’s due in November, and I wanted to get a first draft done before I dived into this.

The draft is done! Done-ish. (I need to do a first pass before I send it to beta readers.) It is a YA novel based on my short story Cat Pictures Please, to be published by Tor YA. Anyway, I’ll be getting to this soon, and I took a peek at the city ballots to see just what I was in for.

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have city races this year. St. Paul’s mayor, Chris Coleman, is not running again, so it’s an open seat. Minneapolis’s mayor, Betsy Hodges, is completing her first term and a number of people are dissatisfied with her, so she’s viewed as vulnerable. Minneapolis also has races for Park Board, City Council, and There are also races for Park Board, City Council, and Board of Estimate and Taxation. (That one’s not a competitive race; if I’m reading it right, there are two seats up for election, and exactly two people running for those seats, both of them incumbents.) In St. Paul, there’s also a School Board race.

Last time, Minneapolis had thirty-five candidates running for Mayor. In the intervening four years, they raised the cost of filing to run from $20 to $500, which has significantly cut down on the number of people doing it — it’s now only 16, so a little under half the number who ran last time. Of those 16, there are 5 or 6 with a reasonable shot at actually winning; 2-3 more who are treating their own candidacy seriously even if no one else is; and a couple of weirdos. I’m really curious whether David John Wilson of the Rainbows Butterflies Unicorns party is John Charles Wilson the Laurist Communist but with a new name and political party? His website isn’t loading for me.

There are three people running for City Council in my old ward; not sure about other wards, and I need an address to plug in to get the Secretary of State site to cough up a sample ballot.

Nine people are running for three Park Board At Large seats. There’s also three people running for the District 5 Park Board Seat. (Again, I’ll need to go hunting for the info on who’s running in the other districts.)

Minneapolis residents can rank three candidates in each race.

In St. Paul, we have ten people running for mayor. There are three I’d describe as front-runners, a couple more who are serious candidates, and one person who I think gets messages from space aliens through her dental fillings. We also have six people running for three School Board seats. In St. Paul, we get to rank up to six candidates for mayor. We get to vote for three school board candidates (because there are three open seats) but we don’t get to rank them, because the method of choosing school board candidates is determined by the State Legislature. (Don’t you envy the people who get to hand over ballots and explain that to people? If you do, you can sign up to do it! They are ALWAYS looking for election judges.)

Anyway! I will be back to start work on this soon. If you live in Minneapolis and want to be sure I cover your City Council race and/or your Park Board race, please leave an address in your precinct in my comments so I can plug that in to the SoS site. (And if you want to just pull up your own sample ballot, you can get it here: http://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us. This site will also tell you where you go to vote.)