DFL endorsements thin Council fields in Minneapolis, St. Paul
The outcome of heated DFL endorsement battles narrowed the candidate fields in some contested council races in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Why it matters: While the contests are technically nonpartisan, the party's backing carries significant weight given the political lean of both cities.
What's new: In Minneapolis, Conrad Zbikowski, a progressive challenger to Council Member Michael Rainville, dropped out after the Ward 3 incumbent secured the DFL endorsement over the weekend.
Yes, but: Other challengers decided to stay in their respective races for now.
- Minneapolis council candidates Luther Ranheim and Nancy Ford are both reportedly still vying for the open Ward 12 seat after losing the endorsement to Aurin Chowdhury. A fourth contender, Jerome Evans, dropped his campaign.
- In St. Paul's Ward 7, several rivals to DFL-endorsed Cheniqua Johnson said they will continue through November. "In a ranked-choice system, people need choices," candidate Pa Der Vang told the Star Tribune.
- The city's Ward 1 convention failed to deliver an endorsement after some delegates walked out over nine hours into the deliberations. All three candidates — Anika Bowie, James Lo and Omar Syed — are staying in the race.
Of note: Bowie, who has agreed to abide by the decision, told Axios she's expecting another convention to be held since the work was not completed.
The intrigue: In St. Paul, Isaac Russell initially said he'd abide by the endorsement and end his campaign to succeed outgoing Council Member Chris Tolbert after losing it to rival Saura Jost.
- But days later, he issued a statement saying he had reconsidered and would stay in the race.
What we're watching: Council President Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8) and incumbent Council Member Jamal Osman (Ward 6) are expected to face challenges at their upcoming endorsement conventions.
- Several candidates are also in the running to succeed retiring Council Member Lisa Goodman in Ward 7.
Check out our full candidate trackers for Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Editor's note: This story was updated on May 4 to reflect that Isaac Russell reversed his earlier statements and decided to continue his campaign.
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