TakeActionMN, an umbrella group of 26 progressive organizations, has endorsed three challengers in the St. Paul City Council election next month, because of the incumbents’ votes on a living-wage matter.
After a screening process that brought in 200 members, the group endorsed:
- Jim Ivey over incumbent Dave Thune in Ward 2
- Amy Brendmoen over incumbent Lee Helgen in Ward 5
- Bee Kevin Xiong over incumbent Dan Bostrom in Ward 6.
They also endorsed incumbent Russ Stark in Ward Four.
The group was split, and therefore didn’t endorse, in Ward 1, between incumbent Melvin Carter III and Johnny Howard; and in Ward 3, in the race between Chris Tolbert and John Mannillo for an open seat.
Incumbent Kathy Lantry has no challenger in Ward 7.
TakeAction Minnesota’s executive director, Dan McGrath, said the group’s move to endorse the three challengers stems from the council’s votes earlier this year to grant a waiver exempting Cossetta’s Italian Market from the city’s living-wage legislation, even though it received nearly $2 million in city loans.
Stark was the only council member to vote against the waiver. Carter, Thune and Helgen, who had been endorsed by TakeAction MN in the past, voted for the exemption.
“Our members are serious about holding our endorsed leaders accountable and the Cossetta’s vote angered a lot of our members — especially those motivated to turn out to our candidate screenings this year,” McGrath said in a statement. “Opposition to Instant Runoff Voting, which TakeAction Minnesota has supported at the local level, also was persuasive.”