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Minneapolis teacher Jim Thomas drops out of mayor’s race, endorses Andrew

Thomas, perhaps the most progressive candidate in the race, had pushed hard on public education issues.

thomas photo
MinnPost photo by Karen Boros
Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas, the Minneapolis schoolteacher in his first political campaign, said Monday that he’s dropping out of the race.

Thomas, who pushed hard on education issues — and who might have been the most progressive candidate in the race with stances favoring universal health care, free education all the way through college, living-wage jobs for everyone, affordable child care and affordable housing — said he is endorsing Mark Andrew in the race.

With Mayor R.T. Rybak not seeking re-election, the mayor’s race has been a wide-open, free-wheeling affair. Twenty-six candidates had filed as of noon today. Filings close Tuesday at 5 p.m.

MinnPost’s Karen Boros had noted last week that the field was likely to total at least 23 candidates.

Officially filing papers so far Monday were: former City Council Member Jackie Cherryhomes, current Council Member Don Samuels, Neil Baxter and James “Jimmy” Stroud.

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With ranked-choice voting, there will be no primary, and voters will rank their top choices on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Thomas said today that he knew “…realistically, I won’t win on Nov. 5th. My efforts will continue to organize and inform parents and teachers around the issues and efforts that undermine all of our children getting a quality education.”

And he said he supports Andrew for education reasons:

“Although I’m stepping out of the mayoral election my commitment to fight against lowering teacher qualifications and for fairly funding public schools is not over. I’m endorsing Mark Andrew because he stands up for students, families, and teachers. Mark has also focused on closing our opportunity gaps and it’s not empty rhetoric. He understands that we need to focus on early childhood education but also on strong neighborhood schools, stable housing, youth homelessness, and living wage jobs. Mark will be a good steward of our public schools.”