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Elliott Payne scored a big win in the DFL endorsement process for Ward 1. Photo coutrtesy of Elliott Payne's campaign

After seven days of online balloting, 4,800 DFL delegates in 13 Minneapolis City Council wards endorsed seven candidates. And if you're looking for clear picture of what that means, keep looking.

On the one hand: Three incumbent City Council members who pledged to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department — Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5), Jeremy Schroeder (Ward 11) and Steve Fletcher (Ward 3) — were unable to gain enough delegates for endorsement, and in the case of Schroeder and Ellison, got less support than their opponents, Emily Koski and Victor Martinez.

On the other hand: Two candidates who are running with anti-MPD messages won endorsements for seats currently occupied by members who have more moderate stances on policing in the city.

  • Elliott Payne bested longtime incumbent Kevin Reich in Ward 1 with 78% of delegates.
  • Jason Chavez, running for the open Ward 9 seat, got 69% of delegates.

Why it matters: Getting the DFL endorsements brings credibility to candidates and gives them access to fundraising and campaign lists for this November's election.

What they're saying:

Minneapolis Regional Chamber CEO Jonathan Weinhagen, a leader of the anti-defund-the-police group A New 612, said the results could be a sign of the council moving back toward the middle.

  • "The pendulum may be swinging back. I think it's too early to tell, but based on the fact that we didn't see a wave of progressive endorsements ... It feels like there's a recalibration happening in the city," he said.

Kenza Hadj-Moussa, director of public affairs for the progressive Take Action Minnesota, isn't reading too much into the mixed results.

  • "The DFL is one important endorsement, but it's not the only one. There's lots of others that are going to be making endorsements and that are going to be shaping the outcomes of the race and building a ground game," she said.

Go deeper: Look at all the delegate balloting here.

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Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Police overhaul measure back on ballot as Minneapolis voters head to polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Early voting begins in Minneapolis this morning, with a consequential question on the future of the police department back on the ballot.

Driving the news: In an eleventh hour ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court overruled a Hennepin County judge's decision to strike the police charter amendment from the ballot over concerns that the language was too vague.

Why it matters: Question 2, which proposes replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety agency that could include officers "if necessary," could fundamentally change public safety in Minneapolis by removing the minimum officer requirement and giving the City Council more say in police policies.

  • Supporters had argued that the judge's intervention subverted the will of the 20,000-plus voters who signed a petition to get the measure on the ballot.

What they're saying: Both supporters and critics of the proposal applauded the court's ruling.

  • "Voters can rejoice that their voice, their civic engagement, and their votes matter," a statement from the "yes" campaign read.
  • Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposes the measure, said the court made "the right call," saying residents "deserve the opportunity to weigh in this fall and bring this debate to a close so we can move forward with clarity for our residents' safety."

Between the lines: The fight over the measure is expected to attract national attention and major spending on both sides — opponents are launching their first TV ad.

  • That battle could impact turnout and the outcome of other local contests, including the mayor's race and competitive City Council match-ups.
  • Questions on city governance and rent control, as well as the Park Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation races, are also on the ballot.

Zoom out: It's not just Minneapolis. Early voting begins in dozens of municipalities and school districts across the state today.

  • Voters in St. Paul pick a mayor, school board members and face a rent control question of their own.
  • Contests elsewhere cover city government, school boards, tax levies and other local ballot questions.

Be smart: Absentee ballots can be cast in person, often at an early vote center or local election office, or by mail. Click the links for early voting sites across Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

32 mins ago - World

Taliban: Executions and strict punishments will return

Taliban fighters in Kabul. Photo: Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Strict punishments such as hand amputations and executions will return in Afghanistan, one of the Taliban's founders said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Despite attempting to project a new image, the Taliban remain committed to a hard-line, conservative ideology, including harsh ruling tactics.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors pour millions into immersive, interactive art experiences

Photo Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

How much would you pay for "a sleek, if pleasantly confusing, package of moods" or "a confusing tangle of disjointed installations" or even "the total erosion of meaning itself"? The answer, according to the current market-clearing price, seems to be about $35.

Why it matters: Investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ticketed experiences — immersive, interactive museum-like spaces that don't have the d0-not-touch stuffiness of traditional museums.