St. Paul DFLers are getting ready for elections, with precinct caucuses set for Tuesday, February 8 (see sidebar). If you haven’t heard much about this election cycle, you’re not alone. St. Paul will hold elections for all seven city council members and four of the seven school board members in November, but this is an “off-off-year” election that flies under the radar for many people, especially since no state or national offices are on the ballot.
The city council will have at least one new member, as Ward 3 Councilmember Pat Harris is not running for re-election. So far, John Manillo is the most prominent candidate to succeed Harris in representing the ward, which includes Highland Park and Macalester Groveland. Manillo’s credentials include his experience in the real estate business and a long list of civic involvement.
The city council faces redistricting this year, after the census data are released, with final determination of new ward lines expected by May 9. That will probably mean ward conventions for endorsement late in May, in the event that there are contests for endorsement.
|2011 DFL Precinct Caucuses|
Tuesday, February 8 – 6:30 p.m. Registration, 7:00 p.m. Caucus begins
If you don’t know what precinct you are in, you can find it by entering your address in the Ramsey County precinct-finder. That will show your ward and precinct number, as well as the voting location, city council member, county commissioner, state legislators, Congressional representative and U.S. Senator.
DFLers will be considering endorsements for four school board seats and all seven city council seats.
Ward 1 – Central High School, 275 Lexington Parkway [Note: New Location]
The DFL City Convention will be April 9th at Washington Technology Magnet School (the former Arlington HS)
Four of seven St. Paul Board of Education seats will be up for election in November. One of the seats was left vacant by the resignation of Vallay Varro late in 2010, and the Board of Education appointed John Risberg to fill that seat until the election. The other three seats are occupied by incumbents Anne Carroll, Keith Hardy and Kazoua Kong-Thao. Carroll and Hardy are seeking re-election, but Kazoua Kong-Thao is not.
Among the announced candidates for the four school board seats, in addition to Carroll and Hardy, are Louise Seeba, Mary Doran and Al Oertwig.
St. Paul Republicans will hold BPOU – Basic Political Operating Unit – conventions in February and March with a Fourth District Congressional Convention on Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m. at Jimmy’s Conference Center, 3565 Labore Road, Vadnais Heights, according to the party’s website.
Rhoda Gilman, spokesperson for the Green Party in St. Paul, said they will not hold precinct caucuses, and will hold a citywide caucus in April, with information to be posted on the St. Paul Green Party website. She said that she anticipates the Green Party will endorse city council candidates, and possibly school board candidates.