Aug 3, 2022 - News

Finalists named for open St. Paul City Council seat

Illustration of St. Paul City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Seven finalists to fill an open St. Paul City Council seat will sit for public interviews today.

Driving the news: Longtime Council Member Dai Thao stepped down to take a new job in Florida, creating a vacancy in Ward 1.

Zoom in: Here are the candidates set to participate in the interviews, according to resumes provided by the city:

  • Russel Balenger, founder of the The Circle of Peace Movement.
  • Deborah Montgomery, a former city council member and St. Paul police commander.
  • Nadira Mohamed, a pharmacist who recently served as a community health specialist for Ramsey County Public Health.
  • Vic Rosenthal, a policy consultant who served as executive director of Jewish Community Action.
  • Erica Valliant, a manager with the homeless shelter People Serving People.
  • Touachongka Xiong, founder of Kathy's Live Bait shop.
  • Khou Yang, a recent law school graduate who clerked for the Hennepin County Attorneys Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney.

Of note: Candidates had to agree that they wouldn't run for a full term, so the successor appointed by the council is expected to represent the ward, which includes the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods, only until the 2023 election.

What's next: The interviews are open to the public and begin at 9am at City Hall (Room 330).

  • A vote on the appointment could come as soon as Aug. 10.

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