Mayoral candidates band together: The Mayoral Council unites “fringe” candidates to share platforms and voters


A group of Minneapolis mayoral candidates are joining forces to share their platforms and use the city’s ranked-choice voting system to fight the status quo.

The group, known as the “Mayoral Council,” was created so “fringe” candidates can discuss their plans if they were to be chosen by voters on the November ballot, said member Dan Cohen, who is considered a frontrunner in the mayoral election crowded with 35 candidates.

He said the group reflects the civility between candidates that’s promoted by the ranked-choice voting system.

The system allows voters to rank up to three candidates, all of whom are listed on the ballot under columns, for first, second and third choice.

The group holds weekly meetings outside the Hennepin County Government Center to share their platforms with the public and each other.

Members of the council work with each other so voters who support one candidate will rank their top choice’s allies as their second or third picks, said founder Bob “Again” Carney Jr.

“This is a huge step forward in democratic process,” he said. “We can connect with voters in a way that the [mainstream] candidates are simply unable to do.”

Carney said he started a similar group during the 2009 election in hopes of beating Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak using ranked-choice voting, but that effort was unsuccessful.

Carney said he invites every mayoral candidate to each Mayoral Council meeting, but he added that average attendance is only six candidates.

The meetings are an opportunity for candidates to combine policies and initiatives into a cohesive platform every member can support, regular council attendee and mayoral candidate Captain Jack Sparrow said.

“Regardless of who is selected mayor, we have to come up with a platform that’s beneficial to all the citizens of Minneapolis,” he said.