After three RCV counts, Minneapolis has seven new City Council members

city hall interior
Three City Council race winners were declared at Minneapolis City Hall Friday.

Minneapolis election officials on Friday ended the suspense, declaring winners in the three City Council races determined by reallocation of ranked-choice votes.

The new council will have seven first-timers among its 13 members, including the first representatives from the Hmong, Latino and Somali communities.

Here’s a look at the three races decided Friday:

Ward 5

Blong Yang, from north Minneapolis, replaces Don Samuels, who ran for mayor. Yang will be the first Hmong American to serve on the City Council. He lists interests in public safety, economic development and housing on his web page.

He won a four-way race with a final allocation of just over 52 percent.

Yang is a family law attorney who served as an investigator for the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department and has made funding for that department a priority. Early in his law career, he worked for the Legal Aid Society.

Ward 9

Alondra Cano, who was born in Mexico and came to this country at age 10, will replace Council Member Gary Schiff, who represents such neighborhoods as Corcoran, Longfellow and Phillips. Schiff also gave up his seat to run for mayor.

Cano won a six-way race with a final allocation of more than 47 percent.

Active in student and immigrant rights movements, Cano works for the Minneapolis School District as a senior communications and public affairs specialist.

She is the founder of the Latino Engagement Task Force, which works to bring the community into public policy discussions and decisions. A former aide to Council Member Robert Lilligren, she was an organizer for the student sit-in to save the General College at the University of Minnesota.

Ward 13

Linea Palmisano, who will represent the city’s southwest corner, will take the seat held by Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges.

She won a five-way race with a final allocation of just over 48 percent.

Palmisano, who has been working for UnitedHealth Group, founded Navigate,  a program to help immigrants gain access to colleges and universities.

She  is an assistant track coach at Southwest High School and serves on the board of the Linden Hills Farmers’ Market. She is a graduate of  Notre Dame University and holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Other council newcomers

Rounding out the slate of new council members are four who were declared winners Election Night:

Jacob Frey, Ward 3: He defeated Council Member Diane Hofstede. The ward includes part of northeast Minneapolis, the North Loop and the Mill District downtown.

Abdi Warsame, Ward 6: He defeated Council Member Robert Lilligren. The ward is just south of downtown. Warsame will be the first Somali on the council and is believed to be the highest-ranking Somali to hold elected office.

Lisa Bender, Ward 10: She defeated Council Member Meg Tuthill. The ward includes the Wedge and Whittier neighborhoods.

Andrew Johnson, Ward 12: He will replace Sandy Colvin Roy, who did not seek re-election. The ward is in the southeast part of Minneapolis.

Six returning members

Those returning to the council are: President Barb Johnson (Ward 4), Kevin Reich (Ward 1), Cam Gordon (Ward 2), Lisa Goodman (Ward 7), Elizabeth Glidden (Ward 8) and John Quincy (Ward 11).

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Walt Cygan on 11/08/2013 - 02:58 pm.


    Sandy Colvin Roy did seek re-election but dropped out of the race after failing to get the 12th Ward DFL endorsement. The convention ended with no endorsement, which was a boost to Andrew Johnson’s candidacy. Sandy was unable to get the endorsement in no small part because of her 11th-hour support of the Vikings stadium.

  2. Submitted by John Reinan on 11/08/2013 - 04:48 pm.

    Why less than 50%?

    I guess I haven’t been paying as much attention as I should. I thought RCV was supposed to deliver at least 50% + 1 to the winner. Yet that wasn’t the case in several of these races nor in the mayor’s race. Where’s Eric Black when you need him?

    • Submitted by Mark Lutterman on 11/09/2013 - 05:30 pm.

      50% +1 is not assured with RCV. This is because for many of these races there were more than 3 candidates and you are not required to list more than one choice. Hence, it is still possible to win by plurality rather than 50%+1. It is possible with RCV for everyone to ignore the opportunity to list anything other than their 1st choice which effectively makes it like our old elections. And if in the mayor’s race there are 30 candidates and the votes are split widely between them all, you could have a winner with much less than 50% even if everyone declared 2nd and 3rd choices.

  3. Submitted by Ronald Shulstad on 11/09/2013 - 06:04 pm.

    Minneapolis City Council Election Results

    The results are in good part repudiation for the “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” manner in which the previous Council appeared to operate too often. The Council bowed to Meg Tuthill’s opposition to Trader Joe’s opening a store in south Minneapolis despite citizen support and Planning Commission recommendations. Let’s hope lessons have been learned.

    Trader Joe’s: Please try again.

    Craig Shulstad

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