Following Minneapolis and St. Paul Elections
November 3, 2009
In St. Paul, voters approved Instant Runoff Voting for future city elections 52% to 47%. Mayor Chris Coleman easily won re-election by defeating first-time candidate Eva Ng 68% to 30%.
In a nail-biter of a school board race, John Brodrick eeked out a third term, after incumbent Tom Goldstein conceded the race to newcomer Jean O’Connell.
Brodrick came in 82 votes behind independent O’Connell. Elona Street-Stewart, who may have her sights on the chairship, was re-elected for a third term.
In the two-year school board race to complete Republican Tom Conlon’s term, Vallay Moua Varro overwhelmingly beat Pat Igo.
The new school board will have to make decisions about how to spend stimulus money, grapple with declining enrollment, and work with a new Superintendent.
In the city’s first ranked-choice voting ballot, RT Rybak cruised to his 3rd win as Minneapolis mayor with 73% of the vote.
But, tough races in North Minneapolis mean waiting to see the tabulation of 2nd and 3rd place votes to find out the winner in wards 4 and 5. In Ward 5, Don Samuels led Natalie Johnson Lee, 1015 to 649, in 1st place votes.
The biggest surprise may have been the strong showing of DFL activist Troy Parker in the 4th ward, challenging long-time incumbent Barb Johnson. Johnson earned 1545 first-place votes to 919 for Parker.
Minneapolis voters clearly rejected the call to eliminate the Board of Estimate and Taxation, which would have given the city council the sole power to set property taxes for itself and the Park and Recreation Board.
Elected Board of Estimate and Taxation member Carol Becker easily won re-election with 16,704 first-place votes. David Wheeler earned the second highest first-place votes, although the Ranked Choice Voting system makes it tough to know who will earn the second elected seat on the Board.
City Council incumbents Cam Gordon, Diane Hofstede, Robert Lilligren, Lisa Goodman, Elizabeth Glidden, Sandy Colvin Roy, Gary Schiff and Betsy Hodges all will return to their seats.
A couple of newcomers will be seated on the board from open seats. Meg Tuthill handily beat her opponents to win the 10th ward as did John Quincy in the 11th ward. Ralph Remington and Scott Benson did not run for re-election. In the other open seat, in the first ward, it appears that DFL-endorsed candidate Kevin Reich is headed for victory, just barely eeking out the 50% required.
The Park and Recreation Board at-large race will be tough to call for a few weeks. After the first-choice votes, it appears that four people are vying for three spots, including Annie Young, Bob Fine, Mary Merrill Anderson and John Erwin. It looks like Board President Tom Nordyke may be in danger of losing his seat.
In the mayor’s race, Papa John Kolstad had the second-highest number of first-place votes with 11%. But DFL candidates Al Flowers and Dick Franson garnered the most 2nd and 3rd place votes, which will give them higher overall totals.
You can find election results on the Secretary of State's website. Ranked Choice Voting in Minneapolis may be confusing if there isn't a clear winner based on first-choice votes. To help you understand how Ranked Choice Voting is tabulated, click here.
Reporting by Ann Alquist, Allison Herrera, Art Hughes, and Ahndi Fridell.
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