Mark Andrew

Mark Andrew

You can add Mark Andrew to the list of retired politicos considering a comeback by running for mayor.

The South Side native served as Hennepin County Commissioner from 1983 to 1999.  He joins Jackie Cherryhomes, another onetime elected official, in considering a bid.

Andrew told MPLS that he's "very interested" and expects to decide in two to three weeks on running for the job that R.T. Rybak plans to vacate in a year.

A Washburn High School alum, Andrew cut his activist teeth in the environmental movement at the University of Minnesota, helping to organize Earth Day, and co-founded Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. He worked for the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee before winning election in 1982 for the County Board seat covering the western half of the South Side and St. Louis Park, defeating Nancy Olkon. He is 62.

"I just closed the sale with my wife," Andrew said Tuesday. "I think I can add a lot to the mix.  If I do run, I'm going to be proposing, proposing, proposing. I'm a creative policymaker."

He said stands out in the field because he would bring both political and business experience to a run. 

As a commissioner, he advocated both the county's construction of the downtown garbage incinerator and vastly expanded recycling programs.  He also chaired the state DFL party and had gubernatorial ambitions.

Andrew, along with Peter McLaughlin, then a fellow commissiner, was interested in running for mayor when Don Fraser stepped down in 1993. But they deferred to ally Sharon Sayles Belton, who won, and McLaughlin unsuccessfully tried to wrest the mayoralty from Rybak in 2005.

Andrew left politics for PR, then in 2007 launched GreenMark, an environmental consulting and marketing firm that links sports teams and their buildings with environmental technology.  Clients include Target Field, the Boston Red Sox and Meadowlands stadium. Andrew was also a long-time French fry purveyor at the Minnesota State Fair. One consideration in making up his mind to run is maintaining an income and being able to deliver to clients during a campaign, Andrew said..

Others running for mayor or considering it are Council Members Betsy Hodges, Gary Schiff, and Don Samuels, school board member Hussein Samatar, park Commissioner Bob Fine and theater executive Tom Hoch