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St. Paul DFLers to consider Ward 1 council endorsement on July 27

There’s no shortage of candidates looking to fill out the last two years of Melvin Carter III’s term.

The St. Paul DFL has scheduled a special meeting to consider endorsement in the Ward 1 council race.

Party delegates from the ward will meet at 9 a.m. July 27 at the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34 Union Hall, 95 Empire Drive.

There’s plenty of interest in the council seat, which was vacated last week by Melvin Carter III, when he took a job in the state Education Department.

The council appointed Nathaniel Khaliq to fill the seat until the November election, when candidates will run to fill the remaining two years of Carter’s term.

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Khaliq has said he won’t run in the election, but many other DFLers have expressed interest. Filing doesn’t open until July 30 and runs through Aug. 13, so if there is an endorsement on the 27th, some of those planning to run may not actually file.

DFL endorsement in St. Paul is often tantamount to election, but with ranked-choice voting, and lots of candidates expected, even those without endorsement may decide the $20 filing fee makes it worth a shot.

So far, the DFL list looks like this:

  • Matt Hill, of the Heritage Preservation Commission; he’s cultural fund manager at the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Johnny Howard, a community organizer who ran against Carter two years ago
  • Kazoua Kong-Thao, a former school board member
  • The Rev. Devin Miller, activist who’s run for school board and mayor.Noel Nix, Carter’s council aide
  • Debbie Montgomery, former Ward 1 council member; retired police officer
  • Dai Thao, an IT manager who’s worked on progressive causes
  • Mark Voerding, a former aide to Ward 1 Council Member Bill Wilson in the 1980s and now aide to County Commissioner Janice Rettman

Paul Holmgren (who is not the St. Paul-raised NHL hockey player) has the Republican endorsement for the council seat, and it’s likely there will be a Green Party candidate.