Last night in St. Paul, voters gave Melvin Carter 51 percent of their first-choice votes, granting him a historic victory on election night without the need for ranked-choice voting tabulation.
This was St. Paul’s first open mayoral contest in a few cycles, and St. Paulites came out in force. Based on the count of first-choice votes for mayor, turnout was at its highest since 2005, with 61,639 votes cast, according to data from the Minnesota Secretary of State. That’s roughly double the number cast for mayor in 2013.
Though it was higher, turnout across wards mimicked 2013 patterns, with some of the city’s most educated and affluent wards casting the most votes.
Ward 3, “the neighborhood that typically elects mayors," in the Highland Park/Mac-Groveland area, cast nearly a quarter of the first-choice votes for mayor in the race. The second-highest turnout was 19 percent of first-choice votes for mayor in Ward 4, which includes the Hamline-Midway and St. Anthony Park areas, followed by Ward 2, which covers downtown and the westside and where 16 percent of votes came from.
Below, a breakdown of where each of the top three mayoral contenders, all DFLers, in St. Paul won their first-choice votes.
Carter, who formerly represented Ward 1, including the Summit-University and Thomas-Dale/Frogtown neighborhoods, on the St. Paul City Council, cleaned up in wards across the city, winning more votes than any other candidates in six wards — current City Council Member Dai Thao edged out Carter in Ward 6 by four votes. Carter picked up a lot of votes in high-turnout wards 3, 4 and 2.
Former Ward 3 St. Paul City Council Member Pat Harris, who came in second behind Carter with 25 percent of the vote, had his strongest showing of support in his former district, Ward 3, but still had fewer votes there than Carter.
Unlike Carter and Harris, who had the most support in the western parts of the city, Thao, who won 12 percent of the vote, saw his best showing on the East Side, in Ward 6 (where he bested both Carter and Harris), which includes greater East St. Paul and parts of Payne-Phalen, and Ward 7, Dayton’s Bluff and the southeast part of the city.
Thao placed third, behind Carter and Harris, in Ward 1, which he represents at City Hall.
Elizabeth Dickinson, the Green Party candidate, won 5 percent of first-choice votes in the city, and former school board member and businessman Tom Goldstein, a DFLer, won 4 percent.