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Crowded Minneapolis mayoral ballot likely to have at least 23 candidates

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18 candidates already are vying for the top job at Minneapolis city hall, with more expected to sign on before the filing deadline Tuesday.

With four filing days left, at least 18 candidates will have signed up to run for mayor of Minneapolis by midday Thursday.

In 2009, the last time Minneapolis elected a mayor via ranked-choice voting, there were 11 candidates.

More candidates are sure to jump in before filings close at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Of the nine candidates who have been actively campaigning, four will have filed through Thursday morning, which means the number of mayoral candidates will total at least 23 on the November ballot.

Minneapolis had 22 mayoral candidates in 2001, when the primary election reduced the general-election ballot to two. With the advent of ranked-choice voting, though, there is no longer a primary to winnow the field.

One of the goals of ranked-choice voting is to increase the number of candidates, attracting those from minor political parties.

“The opportunity to run and not get eliminated in the primary” is one reason Jeanne Massey of FairVote Minnesota thinks ranked-choice voting makes running for mayor an attractive option because candidates “have a voice throughout the process.”

So far, among active candidates, two high-profile DFLers — Mark Andrew, a former Hennepin County commissioner,  and Park Board Commissioner Bob Fine — already have filed,  and accountant Stephanie Woodruff, another DFLer, is filing Thursday morning.

Dan Cohen, a longtime Republican, also has signed on, listing his political party as “Jobs Downtown Casino.”

With the retirement of Mayor R.T. Rybak this is the first year since 1993 with no incumbent running.

That was the year when Don Fraser decided to step down, and then-City Council President Sharon Sayles Belton was elected to replace him. That open-seat contest attracted 16 candidates in the primary election, when Sayles Belton finished ahead of John Derus by 3,857 votes.

“We’ve got a number of people who file all of the time,” said Massey of several perennial candidates – seven so far.

On that list are three who ran for mayor in 2009.

Bob “Again” Carney Jr., who lists his political principle as “Demand Transit Revolution,” is back. Since 2009, he also has run for governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. senator (The “Again” is part of his filing name.)

Other returning candidates are James Charles Wilson, listed as a “Lauralist Communist,” and James Everett, who lists “Green” as his political party. Everett has also run for governor.

All a candidate needs to file for mayor is $20, cash or check, and the promise that you are eligible to vote in Minnesota. Candidates also must be at least 21 by the time they take office. They also must live in Minneapolis for at least 30 days prior to the election.

Two candidates who do not live in Minneapolis apparently are planning to move here by early October: Mike Gould, a DFLer from South St. Paul, and Merrill Anderson, an Excelsior resident who lists his party as “Jobs and Justice.”

Doug Mann, endorsed by the Green Party, is also running. He previously ran for the Minneapolis School Board and the City Council.

Ole Savior, a Republican who hardly misses running in an election, is on board. An artist by trade, Savior has run for president, the U.S. Senate and House and governor.

Greg A. Iverson has run for office 12 times since 1993, when he first ran for mayor. He also has run for secretary of state and state auditor, according to his Web page.

Rahn V. Workcuff is another candidate who can’t resist running for office. This is his second try for mayor. He first tried for mayor in 1997 and has also run for the state Senate four times.

John Leslie Hartwig, who is running as an “Independent,” ran for the Minneapolis School Board in 2001, receiving 109 votes in the September primary.

A candidate running with the endorsement of a political party can list that affiliation, but that doesn’t stop others from listing that same party or making up the name of their own party.

Mark V. Anderson is running for mayor on the “Simplify Government” ticket. Meanwhile, Abdul M. Rahaman (“The Rock”) lists his party as “We the People…,” and Edmund Bernard Bruyere is running under the “Legacy-next generation” banner.

And let’s end this list the way the alphabet ends: Christopher Robin Zimmerman is running for mayor as a Libertarian candidate.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/08/2013 - 05:58 pm.

    Much better than a primary,

    much better. Unless, of course, you have an objection to double-sided ballots.

  2. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/09/2013 - 11:40 am.

    Let’s also keep in mind that Larry Jacobs and a colleague of his at the U of MN have done research on Minneapolis’s new use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in 2009 and on how it’s shaping up in 2013, and concluded pretty definitively that this system, with its multiple candidates and ranking complexities in the counting, exacerbates inequality in Minneapolis. Only those with comfortable economic situations and lots of formal education seem able to swim in this much-populated candidate sea and distinguish among all of them enough to rank them. Lower-income voters with shaky educations find the situation confusing and either make lots of mistakes on their ballots, or simply avoid the election altogether.

    It will be interesting to see whether with the RCV-inspired mass of candidates, the poor and minority voters of Minneapolis massively avoid the election and once again create an embarrassingly low voter turnout in 2013. And if Minneapolis again elects a mayor with only SW and South Minneapolis support, as in 2009 (a mayor for the white elite).

    • Submitted by Ken Bearman on 08/09/2013 - 12:46 pm.

      Lots of candidates

      Prof. Jacobs hasn’t ever liked RCV, and it wasn’t his “research” on 2009 that got him there. His conclusions are flimsy, especially considering the sample size: one election. What does his research show about the same voters’ turnout in city general elections before 2009?

      The “embarrassingly low voter turnout” was ALWAYS in the primary elections. Now, with no incumbent in 2013 for the first time in 20 years, if we had a primary do you really think the turnout would be higher than in, say, 2005? Would a primary with 10 or 15 or 20 candidates make the “[l]ower-income voters with shaky educations” less confused than you allege they’ll be this year?

      Instead of badmouthing parts of the electorate, why don’t you help them learn how RCV works? I predict the voters in Ward 6 — many of whom didn’t grow up with the Minnesota voting experience and who may fit the demographic you described — turn out in good numbers and have their ballots accepted by the voting machines (i.e., aren’t deterred by so-called mistakes).

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