Dai Thao has won St. Paul’s Ward 1 City Council election, after votes were reallocated today under the ranked-choice-voting rules in a seven-candidate race.
An IT manager who’s worked on progressive causes and legislative campaigns, he will be the city’s first Hmong American council member.
The official canvassing of the election, where the results will become official, is scheduled for Wednesday.
The election was held last Tuesday, but even though Thao led the voting when first-choice ballots were counted, he didn’t have a majority, which led to Monday’s ranked-choice reallocation.
In the end, when the lower-vote-getting candidates were eliminated and their selections reallocated, Thao ended up with 1,970 votes, to 1,722 for second-place finisher Noel Nix.
Thao will be sworn into office Nov. 21, and will serve the remaining two years of Melvin Carter III’s term. Carter stepped down in the summer to take a job in the state education department.
Veteran activist and retired firefighter Nathaniel Khaliq held the seat on an interim basis for several months.
Seven candidates, including another Hmong American candidate, former school board member Kazoua Kong-Thao, ran in the race. Nix, who came in second, had been Carter’s council aide.