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Little-known St. Paul landlord, constant candidate file to run against Mayor Coleman

The field for St. Paul mayor’s race may be set after three candidates filed Tuesday:

  • Incumbent Mayor Chris Coleman, seeking his third term
  • Landlord Tim Holden, a first-time candidate
  • Sharon Anderson, who’s been running for offices of many kinds for decades

The filings run through Aug. 13, so it’s possible other candidates will file for mayor, but no credible threat to Coleman has appeared on the radar, and it’s getting very late in the game to raise enough money and awareness to be taken seriously.

Holden, running as an independent, runs a remodeling company and owns property in the city. The Love Doctor adult sex shop leases space in one of his buildings. He’s been upset about construction of the light rail line in front of his business and opposed spending for the Lowertown St. Paul Saints stadium.

Anderson is a constant candidate who’s run for the Legislature, city council, mayor and state attorney general. Her name has been on ballots for decades, and she once claimed she’d been in every election since 1970. A 1987 story in the Star Tribune called her a “perennial candidate.”

She was on the presidential primary ballot in Minnesota in 1992.

She ran against Attorney General Skip Humphrey in 1994, saying she not only wanted to unseat him but also wanted him in jail after she was evicted from a Summit Avenue home in 1988. (She still lists that address as her home, even on Tuesday’s filing, even though she hasn’t lived there for 25 years.)

Because of her common surname, Anderson won the Republican primary that year. She lost handily to the popular Humphrey in the general election but still garnered 488,000 votes.

In 1996 she was arrested and charged with terroristic threats and harassment, then spent 94 days institutionalized after a judge found her incompetent to stand trial because of bipolar and delusional disorders. She was released when another judge ruled her mental illness was in partial remission, which led Anderson to frequently claim that she is the only candidate who is “certified sane.”

She ran for City Council last year and came in fifth of five candidates in Ward 2. She ran for mayor in 2009 and got 3 percent of the vote in a primary.

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