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St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman makes it official, will seek third term

It’s been a virtual certainty for months, but Mayor Chris Coleman made his re-election bid official Wednesday.

Gov. Mark Dayton stopped by the event, saying he was there to support Coleman both as a governor on his lunch hour, and as a constituent.
MinnPost photo by Joe Kimball

No surprise here: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is running for a third term.

And with no real competition emerging yet for the November election, the announcement in this DFL-dominated city might almost be considered a coronation.

Gov. Mark Dayton even stopped by the event, saying he was there to support Coleman both as a governor on his lunch hour, and as a constituent. (Dayton has lived in the Summit Avenue Governor’s Mansion for just over two years now.)

Coleman’s official re-election speech at noon Wednesday came with dozens of supporters in hard hats around him on the 10th floor of the Pioneer Endicott Building, a cool old building now being redeveloped from offices to apartments.

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The theme — reuse, rather than start over — works both for the building and the mayoral campaign.

It’s been a virtual certainty that Coleman would run again, particularly after he was placed in succession more than a year ago to be president of the National League of Cities, a post he’ll assume in 2014.

The official reason for holding off the the re-election campaign: Coleman wanted to give last week’s State of the City speech without any political overtones, said his campaign manager Matt Freeman, son of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

But the likely real reason, observers noted, is: Why make it a race when you don’t have to?

While no other mayoral campaigns have been registered yet, real estate agent Tim Holden has said he’ll run as an independent.

Coleman, while reciting his list of accomplishments that include the new Lowertown Saints ballpark, completion of downtown light rail, the Penfield project and new downtown Lunds store, said a major effort in the next term will be continuation of work with school officials to “close the achievement gap, once and for all.”

In his remarks, Dayton said that Chris Coleman is held in high regard on Capitol Hill in St. Paul and on Capitol Hill in Washington.

“We’ll be better off if he’s re-elected,” Dayton said.