MINNEAPOLIS: Rybak defeats McLaughlin

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Incumbent Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has been re-elected, defeating challenger Peter McLaughlin by 62 percent to 36 percent, according to official returns.

McLaughlin conceded the race and phoned Rybak at about 10 p.m., reporter Megan Harms told KFAI Radio. With about 80 percent of precincts reporting, the City of Minneapolis election office was reporting 35,510 votes for Rybak to 20,891 for McLaughlin.

“I’m proud to say we ran a positive campaign and we won,” Rybak told KFAI Radio. “That’s a simple statement that meant a lot.”

McLaughlin has strong support from organized labor, including the police and fire unions, but failed to come close to beating Rybak.

“Some people have said you can’t get anywhere in the city without union support,” noted Farheen Hakeem, the Green Party candidate who came in third in the mayoral primary. “But R.T. has proven twice that you can.”

On the City Council, the following incumbents appeared to have easily won re-election: Paul Ostrow in Ward 1; Barb Johnson in Ward 4; Lisa Goodman in Ward 7; Gary Schiff in Ward 9; Scott Benson in Ward 11 and Sandy Colvin Roy in Ward 12.

In Ward 2, newcomer Cam Gordon, a 49-year-old teacher, replaces the retiring Paul Zerby. The Green Party candidate, he defeated Cara Letofsky, the DFL-endorsed candidate, who conceded shortly after the polls closed.

It’s Gordon’s first term on the City Council, after running in his third race.

He said he was disappointed that he may be the only Green Party member on the council. “I hope we can make the small steps forward that are key to moving this city.”

In Ward 3, another newcomer Diane Hofstede, defeated Aaron Neumann by 70 percent to 30 percent.

One of the most hotly contested races took place in Ward 5, where incumbents Natalie Johnson Lee and Don Samuels were thrown into the same ward by redistricting.

“We did not win,” Johnson Lee told KFAI Radio. “What I did hear is that we had a low voter turnout . . . but I haven’t seen any numbers.”

Johnson Lee “just gave an incredibly emotional concession speech,” Allison Herrera reported on KFAI Radio from Johnson Lee’s headquarters.

“She really encouraged everybody to stay involved in the political process, even though she didn’t win . . . There was a lot of clapping and a lot of encouragement . . . It’s a very intense mood here now.”

Much of Johnson Lee’s old ward was included in the new ward, noted Farheen Hakeem, a commentator on KFAI. “I’m really surprised” that she lost.

In Ward 6, another district where two incumbents battled each other, the race was too close to call. The Minneapolis election office reported Robert Lilligren had 601 votes to 585 for Dean Zimmerman.

In the Ward 8 race, Elizabeth Glidden is the winner over Marie Hauser. With 10 of 10 of precincts reporting, Glidden had 3,368 votes to 2,323 for Hauser. Their race was marred by allegations of election misconduct.

“Obviously, we were connecting with a lot of people,” Glidden told KFAI Radio. She said her grassroots campaign really gained momentum after the primary and that key support came from leaders of the African-American community.

In Ward 10, Ralph Remington, a union organizer and former artistic director, had 54 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Scott Persons.

“We felt the race we were running was really organized,” he said. “We raised the money we had planned to raise. We were outspent, but we spent our funds economically.”

Key issues in the ward were “safe streets and safe neighborhoods, quick and efficient transportation and affordable housing,” he said.

In Ward 13, Betsy Hodges held a commanding lead of 65 percent to 35 percent for Lisa McDonald, a former council member running in a new district.

Providing election analysis on KFAI radio are former St. Paul School Board candidate Richard Broderick, former Green Party St. Paul mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson, Twin Cities Black Journalists Association President Shannon Gibney and former Green Party Minneapolis mayoral candidate Farheen Hakeem.

Minneapolis voters also are electing members of the Park Board, Library Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation.

Minneapolis races – results

Mayor (with 19% percent of precincts reporting)
Peter McLaughlin – 62%
*R.T. Rybak* (inc.) – 36%

City Council

Ward 1
Erik Johnson 32%
*Paul Ostrow* (inc.)67%

Ward 2
*Cam Gordon* 51%
Cara Letofsky 49%

Ward 3
*Diane Hofstede* 69%
Aaron Neumann 30%

Ward 4
*Barbara A. “Barb” Johnson* (inc.) running with no opposition

Ward 5
Natalie Johnson Lee (inc.) 40%
*Don Samuels* (inc.) 59%

Ward 6
*Robert Lilligren* (inc.) 15338
Dean Zimmermann (inc.) 1492

Ward 7
Christopher Clark 14%
*Lisa R. Goodman*(inc.) 85%

Ward 8
*Elizabeth Glidden* 59%
Marie Hauser 40%

Ward 9
Dave Bicking 34%
*Gary Schiff* (inc.) 58%

Ward 10
Scott Persons 44%
*Ralph Remington* 54%

Ward 11
*Scott Benson* (inc.) 90%
Gregg A. Iverson 9%

Ward 12
Kevin McDonald 46%
*Sandy Colvin Roy* (inc.) 53%

Ward 13
*Betsy Hodges* 64%
Lisa McDonald 35%

Minneapolis Park Board

At Large – 3 seats
*Mary Merrill Anderson* 19.21%
Meg Forney 15.50%
Daniel J. Froehlich 14.80
Rochelle Berry Graves (inc.) 14.15%
*Tom Nordyke* 19.17%
*Annie Young *(inc.) 16.63%

District 1
*Walt Dziedzic* (inc.) 60%
LuAnn Wilcox 40%

District 2
“Booker T” Hodges 44%
*Jon Olson* (inc.) 56%

District 3
David “Daveed” Donnelly 20%
*Scott Vreeland* 79%

District 4
Christine Hansen 41%
*Tracy Nordstrom* 58%

District 5
Carol Kummer (inc.) 51.01%
Jason Stone 48.66%

District 6
Jim Bernstein 46.50%
*Bob Fine* (inc.) 53.02%

Minneapolis Library Board
6 seats
*Anita Duckor* (inc.) 9.06%
Eric Hinsdale 5.03%
Virginia Holte (inc.) 7.29%
*Alan Hooker* 9.83%
Julie Iverson 6.67%
Lisa Kjellander 6.39%
*Rod Krueger* (inc.) 9.99%
*Sheldon Mains* 8.62%
*Laurie Savran* (inc.) 8.98%
Samantha Smart 8.15%
Gary Thaden 8.23%
*Laura W. Wittstock* 11.21

Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation
2 seats
*Carol Becker* 37.38%
Dave Berger 14.28%
Gordon L. Nelson (inc.) 14.55%
*Jill Schwimmer* 33.09%

The Election Team 2005 for this coverage includes Ann Alquist, Dana Buchwald, Mara Fink, Sumanth Gopinath, Benno Groeneveld, Megan Harms, Allison Herrera, Jenny Krol, Barb Kucera, Jodi Larson, Susan Leem, Bill Lindeke, Todd Melby, John See, Alexis Thompson and Jenny Zanner.

These reports are the result of a collaboration between the Twin Cities Media Alliance, a newly-formed non-profit organization made up of reporters, editors, and other independent media professionals, and KFAI-Fresh Air Radio and its talented team of reporters, editors and on-air commentators.

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