In a low-low turnout special-election primary, Hennepin County commissioner candidates Marion Greene and Anne Mavity beat four challengers to advance to the Tuesday, May 13 general election.
The math was simple: Greene, who finished first, won her hometown of Minneapolis, capturing 42 percent of the vote there. Mavity won her hometown of St. Louis Park, capturing 53 percent of the vote. The difference: more than three times as many Minneapolitans voted — 4,808, compared to 1,457 in St. Louis Park.
Overall, Greene, a former state legislator, won 36 percent of the vote; Mavity, a St. Louis Park Councilmember, captured 28 percent.
Finishing out of the money were Hennepin County prosecutor Ben Schweigert (25 percent), ex-legislator Ken Kelash (7 percent), Robert “Again” Carney, Jr. (3 percent) and former Minneapolis council candidate Bob Reuer (1 percent).
Turnout in the race to succeed Gail Dorfman, who resigned earlier this year, was a dismal 6 percent.
The question for the general election race is where Schweigert’s and Kelash’s votes go, who new shows up, and how big a part geography plays.
Like Greene, all defeated candidates live in Minneapolis; Mavity’s literature touted her City of Lakes roots as a Washburn High School grad and former Central neighborhood staffer.
Greene has been endorsed by several high-profile Minneapolis lawmakers, including State Rep. Frank Hornstein, several school board members, and former House speaker Margaret Kelliher. Mavity counters with St. Louis Park’s city council, State Rep. Ryan Winkler and State Sen. Ron Latz.
Greene’s first-place finish largely rested on Minneapolis Ward 7 (downtown and Lake of the Isles), which she used to represent; she took 64 percent of the vote there. She also won Ward 13 in the city’s southwest corner, by a more modest 37 percent to Mavity’s 28 percent.
Greene narrowly won Minneapolis Ward 10, in the Lake Calhoun and Wedge area, 36.93 percent to Schweigert’s 36.58 percent.
Mavity won Minneapolis Ward 11, which spreads southeast from Lake Harriet, 33 percent to 28 percent over Greene.
One territory up for grabs include Minneapolis Ward 8, east of Lake Harriet, which Schweigert won with 44 percent of the vote; Greene finished second with 37 percent to Mavity’s 13 percent.