After days of counting, Hodges elected mayor of Minneapolis

City Councilwoman Betsy Hodges was named the next mayor of Minneapolis Thursday, following days of city officials counting votes.

Hodges will succeed three-term Mayor R.T. Rybak come January. She won with 38,870 votes after a 33-round elimination process in the city's first mayoral race to test multiple rounds of the ranked-choice voting system, in which voters list their top three preferences.

"On Jan. 2...it will be my job to live my gratitude by doing what I said I would do to work with you, to work with the community to build and grow Minneapolis," Hodges said in a speech to supporters Wednesday night.

Hodges' nearest competitor, Mark Andrew, conceded from the race just hours after polls closed Tuesday. At that time, he trailed Hodges by more than 11 points.

A winner was not declared on election night because none of the 35 mayoral candidates received the majority of first-choice votes. City officials spent nearly 50 hours tabulating election results, with each round of counting eliminating the least-popular candidate.

After Andrew, mayoral candidates Don Samuels and Cam Winton placed third and fourth, respectively.

Andrew's campaign outraised Hodges' by nearly $135,000. Andrew said he has no plans to pursue a different political office at the moment.

"We were surprised and disappointed, of course, but Betsy won it fair and square, and I don't think it was a predictable election," he said.

Hodges said Wednesday she had a "good conversation" with Andrew after he conceded.

"It was an honor to be in the same field as him," she said.

Hodges touts a list of accomplishments from her eight years representing southwest Minneapolis as Ward 13 councilwoman, ranging from improving city transit to alleviating property taxes.

"Anybody that knows Betsy knows that she is very detailed and strategic, so she can think on different levels at the same time," said Gary Cunningham, a Metropolitan Council member and Hodges' husband. "She has great people skills."

Alexi Gusso and Meghan Holden contributed to this report.