Notes on the Minneapolis DFL convention from a Cooper delegate


Well, all the city media seem to be presenting a view of the just-past DFL city convention. Some have pretty obvious axes to grind. Some are merely the viewpoint of one delegate. This, too, is the viewpoint of one delegate, but maybe it is a worthwhile added viewpoint.

The convention kicked off at 10am, more or less, as planned in the agenda. It went through the constitutionally necessary preliminary steps such as electing permanent convention chairs and voting on rules. The credential committee gave several reports on how many delegates had valid credentials. Park board candidates did a question-answer session. Only district six was contested. All uncontested candidates were approved by acclamation and district 6 delegates chose their endorsee.

The serious business of the convention was to see if the assembled delegates wanted to endorse anyone for mayor. The candidates had ten minutes each to present the case why they deserved to be that person. There was a question and answer. The most significant question was who was going to end their campaign if the convention actually chose an endorsee. Cherryhomes and Samuel were the “no” answers to that question.

The convention began taking mayoral endorsement votes. The highest vote of the day was a total of 1389. Cherryhomes, Samuels, and Jim Thomas fell well short of the required 10 percent to graduate to the second ballot. So the second ballot was to choose among Mark Andrew, Betsy Hodges, and Gary Schiff.

On the second ballot, the total vote dropped significantly, by a larger number than the three dropped candidates got. The “no endorsement” vote rose. And evidently, some first-ballot delegates didn’t vote at all. I didn’t hear about alternate upgrades, so it wasn’t a matter of simply leaving the convention.

The vote total dropped to 1280, by 109 votes. Andrew got 37 more votes, Hodges got 77 more votes. Schiff lost 4 votes, and “no endorsement” pick up 6 votes.

Between the second and third ballots, Gary Schiff came to a microphone and requested the chair not to be included on the third ballot.

On the third ballot, “no endorsement” gained 28 votes, Betsy Hodges gained 171 votes, Andrew gained 62 votes, and the total was now down by 180. Andrew was picking up percentage because the votes were dropping significantly.

On the last ballot, both Andrew and Hodges lost votes while the “no endorsement” vote went up another 50 percent and the total votes cast were now down by 297. 21 percent of the participants were not voting. Andrew got a “majority” of a sharply reduced participation. He will undoubtedly spin this as a “victory” but even among party activists, he is not a popular brand. In the coming months, he really has to reach out to the people who suspect him.