Third Ward Council candidate debate set for Sept. 10 at the Ritz

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September 4, 2013
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is sponsoring a Ward 3 City Council candidate forum on Sept. 10 at the Ritz Theater to discuss issues facing Northeast artists and other neighborhood concerns.

Candidates invited include Jacob Frey, the DFL-endorsed candidate; Diane Hofstede, the incumbent in the race; Green Party candidate Kristina Gronquist; and Michael Katch, a newcomer to the race and a Libertarian Party candidate. 

The event runs 7–9 p.m. at the theater, 345 13th Ave. NE.

In a recent campaign email, Frey’s team predicted the Ward 3 race would be among the most expensive in City Council history.

Frey has raised more than $62,000 this year for his compaign compared to Hofstede’s nearly $30,000 and Gronquist’s $1,290.

Frey secured the DFL endorsement at the Ward 3 DFL convention May 4 after Hofstede dropped out of the endorsing process. Earlier she had agreed to abide by the DFL’s endorsement, but said the process had been flawed. The Frey team said they had internal tracking data showing more than 74 percent of the delegates at the convention were supporters of Frey.

Since the convention Frey said he has knocked on more than 10,000 doors in the ward along with members of his campaign team. He said he’s heard from many people who have been disappointed with Hofstede’s decision to not abide by the endorsement and drop out of the race.

Hofstede, meanwhile, said she hasn’t heard any criticism from people about her decision to keep campaigning for reelection. She said she’s been door knocking and active on social media promoting her ideas for the ward. 

Gronquist, the Green Party candidate, said her campaign is going “full steam ahead.” She works full-time at the Eastside Food Co-op, but has been active on weekends and in the evenings to get the word out about her message. She’s been critical of the financing of the Vikings stadium deal and the changes to the civilian review of alleged police abuse cases.

“For me this campaign is not about serious cash. It’s about serious issues,” she said, adding that people have been receptive to her ideas and are looking for alternatives to the DFL candidates in the race. 

Katch, the newest candidate in the race, said he would insist on a voter referendum for every major change proposed by the city if elected, according to his campaign website (  

“Minneapolis City Council should be in the business of husbanding the city’s resources, and using them to benefit the residents of the city, not the business of making fortunes for certain chosen business owners at the expense of the rest of us,” he wrote on his website.

The new Third Ward, post-redistricting, includes neighborhoods downtown and in Northeast.