DFL candidate Steve Fletcher has been elected to lead the quickly developing Ward 3.
Fletcher, a technology consultant who lives in Downtown East, won over Socialist Alternative candidate Ginger Jentzen in a third round of voting. Jentzen appeared to lead at first, garnering 34 percent of first-choice voters to Fletcher’s 28 percent, according to unofficial election results.
Tim Bildsoe, a DFL candidate and former Plymouth City Council member who moved to the North Loop before running for office, and Samantha Pree-Stinson, a Green Party candidate, also vied for the seat representing parts of downtown, Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis.
Fletcher won after three rounds, which eliminated Pree-Stinson and then Bildsoe. Speaking at an election night party, Fletcher said he attracted supporters of other candidates because he didn’t alienate voters by ignoring those who didn’t support his campaign.
“I’m never going to agree with everybody or perfectly represent everybody because nobody could do that, but we made a real effort to be really inclusive and invite a lot of people in to solve problems together,” he said.
Fletcher said Wednesday that his first plan is to take what he campaigned on and what he learned throughout the election and make housing more affordable for Minneapolis residents.
“I think affordable housing is the most important that the next [City Council] can do. I think both my support and Ginger’s support show that affordable housing is a priority,” he said.
Jentzen ran after leading a campaign to enact a $15 minimum wage. Addressing a crowd of more than 100 supporters on election night, Jentzen said her campaign showed there was support for socialist candidates if they are able to demonstrate clear differences with “corporate-backed” DFL candidates.
“We will continue to stand up. We will continue to fight back. We will continue to put forward the need for struggle, solidarity and socialist politics. These results are just the beginning, and we really have a world to win,” she said.
Ward 3, which is currently represented by Council Member Jacob Frey, includes some of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods, such as the North Loop and Downtown East. It stretches to include Northeast neighborhoods Sheridan and Bottineau.