Downtown ward gets primary

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July 25, 2005 // UPDATED 1:56 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Candidates turn out in droves for Council seat, other races

Downtown Councilmember Lisa Goodman (7th Ward) has three challengers for the Sept. 13 primary - but a fourth challenger bowed out shortly after getting in.

Goodman is a formidable campaigner. The two-term Democrat chairs the Community Development Committee and had nearly $100,000 in the bank early this year, far surpassing other Council and even mayoral candidates.

Her opponents are:

- New Downtown resident Christopher Clark, 32, a senior stores clerk for the University of Minnesota Dental School and a potter who is concerned about rampant condo development and a city "catering to the upper- middle class" at the expense of renters;

- Loring Park resident Robert Halfhill, 64, whose disability has kept him from working since the '80s and whose top priorities include gay rights and legalizing medicinal marijuana;

- Downtown resident Carl Myron Erickson. He listed no phone number on his city filing papers. An effort to reach him at the Drake Hotel, 416 S. 10th St., was unsuccessful.

Financial analyst and Loring Park resident Terrell Brown filed July 5 to oppose Goodman, whom he had supported in the past, but he withdrew 10 days later. The DFLer said Goodman had been in office long enough, but was not available for comment after dropping out.

Ward 7 will expand to cover almost all of Downtown following recent redistricting. The Ward includes the Central Business District, Elliot Park, Loring Park and all but one North Loop precinct, plus the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods of Kenwood, Lowry Hill, Bryn Mawr and Cedar-Isles-Dean.

Filing for 2005 city elections closed July 19. The Library Board drew the most crowded field, with a whopping 19 candidates vying for six at-large seats. The primary will narrow the field to 12 for the Nov. 8 general election.

Here's how the other races shape up, using information available as of July 20.

The mayor's dozen

Current Mayor R.T. Rybak and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin are the best-known names in a field of 12 mayoral candidates. Girl Scout troop leader Farheen Hakeem has the Green Party endorsement.

Several 2005 candidates ran in the 2001 mayoral primary: Longfellow resident Marcus Harcus, running as a People's Party candidate, received 258 votes, or 0.4 percent in 2001; Lyndale resident Mark Koscielski, a gun shop owner, got 223 votes, or 0.4 percent; former City Council member and perennial candidate Dick Franson received 202 votes, or 0.3 percent; and Gregory A. "Ernie" Brown got 132 votes, or 0.2 percent.

David A. Alvarado, who ran for the 11th Ward City Council seat four years ago and earned 201 votes or 2 percent in the primary, now is running for mayor. Kingfield resident Don Johnson, who runs an antiques and alternative-energy business, is running for mayor under the "No Stadium Tax" party banner. Other candidates are Gregory Groettum, Gerald James Savage, and Tim Nolan.

Ward 3: Six in the mix

Six candidates filed for the open 3rd Ward seat. It covers Nicollet Island/East Bank, Marcy-Holmes, and several other North and Northeast neighborhoods.

St. Anthony West resident Diane Hofstede, a longtime Minneapolis Library Board member and financial advisor, has an organizational lead, with DFL backing and multiple labor endorsements.

Others running are Sheridan resident Aaron Neumann, an artist, musician and massage therapist, who works as a Webmaster, writer and ad executive for the Pulse of the Twin Cities; Julian Pishko, who ran in the Ward 3 2002 special primary, receiving 30 votes or 0.3 percent; Larry Leininger, who ran for mayor in the 2001 primary and got 78 votes, or 0.1 percent; Mike Ludwig and Darren Bouton.

Ward 5: Two incumbents vie after primary bye

Redistricting moved incumbent 3rd Ward City Councilmember Don Samuels into the newly drawn 5th Ward, where he will run against incumbent Natalie Johnson Lee.

Ward 5 includes North Loop south of Washington Avenue North and west of 6th Avenue North, plus several North-side neighborhoods, including Near North, Harrison and Sumner Glenwood.

Since no other candidates filed, there will be no primary.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The nine-member Park Board has six district seats and three at-large seats, all contested this year.

One of the bigger surprises for the at-large race is who is not there. John Lilly, assistant director of the Minnesota State Parks, and Paula Gilbertson, a Powderhorn Park activist and Linden Hills Co-op manager, sought DFL endorsement but did not file. The DFL convention only endorsed two candidates for the three seats, bypassing Lilly and Gilbertson.

Two incumbents are running: Rochelle Berry Graves and Green Party-endorsed Annie Young. (The third, John Erwin, is not seeking reelection.)

Five other candidates filed: former Parks Supt. and DFL-endorsed Mary Merrill Anderson; DFL-endorsed newcomer Tom Nordyke, formerly of the Downtown arts developer Artspace and now a real estate consultant for arts nonprofits; Meg Forney, a Southwest Minneapolis Realtor who has been active on city boards; Clement Shimizu, a Ph.D. student in computer graphics; Daniel J. Froehlich; and Jordan Garner.

Four Park district seats have portions of Downtown.

Park District 1, which covers Nicollet Island/East Bank and Marcy-Holmes plus Northeast Minneapolis, will not have a primary. Challenger LuAnn Wilcox, a Nicollet Island resident, will run against incumbent Walt Dziedzic, a former cop and longtime City Councilmember. Wilcox said the recent controversy over the DeLaSalle field expansion onto public parkland was her catalyst to get in the race, but she has other budget issues.

Park District 2, covering west of 3rd Avenue South and most of North Minneapolis, will not have a primary. Booker T. Hodges IV will face incumbent and Board President Jon Olson.

Park District 3, which covers Downtown east of 3rd Avenue South and north of 7th Street plus near-Southeast Minneapolis, has three candidates, Seward activist Scott Vreeland, David "Daveed" Donnelly and Clifford Rude.

Park District 4, which covers Elliot Park, Loring Park, the Central Business District and the riverfront between 3rd avenues north and south plus part of southwest Minneapolis, is an open seat. Three candidates filed. East Calhoun resident Tracy Nordstrom, a gardener; Kenwood resident Christine Hansen, a banker who works with high-net-worth clients; and Jennifer Salita. (Nordstrom ran and narrowly lost to incumbent Bob Fine in Park District 6 in 2001, 48 percent to 51 percent. Redistricting put her in a new district.)

Library Board

The eight-member Library Board has six at-large seats up for election (the mayor and City Council also appoint one member each).

Diane Hofstede and Gregory Gray (who was appointed to fill a vacancy) are not running.

Incumbents in the race are Anita Duckor, Virginia Holte, Rod Krueger, Laurie Savran, and Laura Waterman Wittstock.

The challengers are: Sheldon Mains, who ran in 2001 and got 8.2 percent of the vote in the general election, losing by a fraction of a percent; Travis Lee Thomas, who ran in 2001 and got 5.3 percent; Nicollet Island/East Bank Board Chair Victor Grambsch; Thomas Deyo; Mark "Sparky" Elko; Lisa Kjellander; Timothy A. Davis, Sr.; Eric Hinsdale; Gary Thaden; Samantha Smart; Ian Stade; Julie Iverson; Alan Hooker; and Jae Bryson.

Board of Estimate and Taxation

The seven-member Board of Estimate and Taxation sets levy limits among the city, park and library boards. The mayor and two councilmembers sit on the board with one representative each from the Park and Library Board. Two members are elected at-large.

Incumbent Gordon Nelson, long-endorsed by the DFL but not this year, is running again; Wally Swan is not. Six others have filed for the two elected seats: DFL-endorsed Carol Becker and Jill Schwimmer, Geno Bassett, Matthew Jones, Ted Cabana and Dave Berger.

To find the new ward and district boundaries, see: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/redistricting/MinneapolisRedistrictingPlan.asp.

For a list of candidates, see: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections.