2014 Hennepin County Commissioner race already underway

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Just after this year’s election, Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman announced that she won’t seek reelection next year. Her Third district seat covers the southwest quadrant of Minneapolis and all of St. Louis Park — as a result, the action in this open seat race won’t really be next November, but rather in the DFL endorsement and primary processes.

Is the County Commission actually a big deal? Depends on your perspective. The Commission does a lot of work that goes unnoticed, administering some law enforcement, library management, tax collection, housing, and transit functions — things that the communities in the Metro can’t do by themselves, but can’t push to the state either. I interviewed the retiring Dorfman way back in the 2006 cycle when she was running for the DFL endorsement for Congress in the Fifth district, and she noted that the Hennepin County Board administrates the second largest municipal budget in the state — right behind the State of Minnesota itself.

So, yeah, kind of a big deal. I spoke recently with one DFLer who confirmed that she is running: St. Louis Park City Council member Anne Mavity. Other names that have been bandied about in DFL circles include former State Rep. Marion Greene and her opponent in the 2010 race to replace outgoing House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher in district 60A, Katie Hatt. One source has said that State Sen. Scott Dibble will *not* run, but that source is not Dibble himself, so we won’t treat it as a certainty just yet.

So given that the 2014 caucuses are what, less than three months away? This race is going to get underway in a big darned hurry. Have a connection to any of the candidates I mentioned, or another whom I didn’t? Let us know what you think.