The Clean Water Blog

MInneapolis skyline, photo: istock, stevieg999

Recapping the St. Paul & Minneapolis Mayoral Races

While Clean Water Action's endorsed candidates fell short in mayoral races in St. Paul and Minnesota, both cities elected progressive reformers who we look forward to working with to build greener and healthier communities.

In St. Paul, former City Council Member Melvin Carter beat a field of 10 candidates to become St. Paul's first mayor of color. Clean Water Action’s endorsed candidate, Elizabeth Dickinson came in fourth, after Pat Harris and Dai Thao.

Carter campaigned on promises of reducing educational and employment disparities and improving police-community relations. Over the next four years he plans to increase the minimum wage citywide, expand early childhood education, encourage more transit, and institute his plan for "community-first police reform".

In Minneapolis, voter turnout reached about 43 percent, the highest rate in two decades. According to the Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services Division, about 106,000 ballots were cast during the race, a 10% overall increase from 2013. Local politics greatly affects the daily lives of residents and with voter turnout increasing, those elected will be a more true representation of who they serve and the values they possess.

In Minneapolis, no candidate achieved a majority in the first round of ballot counting on election night. After four rounds of elimination, Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey was declared the next mayor of Minneapolis. Clean Water Action endorsed candidate, Betsy Hodges came in third after Frey and Representative Raymond Dehn.

Frey intends to address the affordable housing crisis, improve community-police relations, build a world-class transportation system, and ensure that economic opportunity is awarded to everybody. Clean Water Action endorsed Frey in 2013 during his candidacy for the Ward 3 City Council seat and has since worked with him during his time on the City Council, we look forward to continuing to work together to help make Minneapolis a cleaner and more sustainable city for all.

In addition to the mayoral election, all 13 Minneapolis City Council seats were up for grabs. History was made when voters elected two out transgender candidates to the City Council. In the 8th Ward, newcomer Andrea Jenkins made history after winning over 70% of the votes, making her the first transgender woman of color to be elected to public office in the nation. Shortly after, Phillippe Cunningham, a trans man of color was declared the winner in Ward 4. Cunningham defeated longtime incumbent and City Council president Barb Johnson. While members of the LGBTQ community are still underrepresented, Minneapolis' election could mark a turning point.

Other Minneapolis City Council seats were filled by:

  • Ward 1 - Kevin Reich    
  • Ward 2 - Cam Gordon
  • Ward 3 - Steve Fletcher
  • Ward 5 - Jeremiah Ellison
  • Ward 6 - Abdi Warsame (pending recount)
  • Ward 7 - Lisa Goodman
  • Ward 9 - Alondra Cano
  • Ward 10 - Lisa Bender
  • Ward 11 - Jeremy Schroeder
  • Ward 12 - Andrew Johnson
  • Ward 13 - Linea Palmisano