Nov 8, 2023 - Politics

Progressives gain ground on Minneapolis City Council

Illustration of Minneapolis City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Candidates running on more liberal platforms gained seats on the Minneapolis City Council in Tuesday's election but fell short of securing a veto-proof majority.

The big picture: The council moved to the middle last election, but now it's swinging back slightly to the left.

What happened: Aurin Chowdhury, a council aide endorsed by the DFL and Democratic Socialists of America, captured the open Ward 12 — a swing seat on the current council — over rival Luther Ranheim.

Yes, but: Council President Andrea Jenkins, eked out a narrow win over DSA-endorsed challenger Soren Stevenson in Ward 8, delivering a win for Mayor Jacob Frey and his moderate allies on the 13-member council.

  • Stevenson has not said whether he will seek a recount given the 38-vote margin.

Between the lines: Progressive candidates who won overcame a well-funded political action committee that supported moderate candidates.

  • All of Minneapolis significantly out-raised the more liberal Minneapolis for the Many according to MinnPost.

Reality check: Progressives needed nine votes to secure a supermajority capable of overriding mayoral vetoes, but it appears they will have six to eight, depending on the issue.

  • That means Frey will likely have the power to block a strict rent control policy and reject changes to the police department.

What we're watching: Whether Jenkins remains as council president and, if not, whom the council chooses to replace her.

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