Read our profile of Dan Cohen


Party: independent

Occupation: Former public relations executive. Citizen member of both the Minneapolis Planning Commission and Charter Commssion. Served on the City Council in the 1960s, when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Charles Stenvig


  • Cohen believes the achievement gap has been improperly defined as the difference between white and black students (Campaign). "I think it is a rich/poor gap," Cohen writes.

  • He says efforts to close the racial achievement gap should be preserved, but more should be done to ensure fathers have jobs so children can live in a home with two active parents.


  • Cohen says the market should drive zoning, "rather than have the zoning drive our market." (Campaign) He notes that the city, including the Planning Commission he sits on, have adopted policies that encourage population growth -- such as allowing for smaller residential units.

  • Cohen is a vocal critic of the Vikings stadium deal and advocates building a downtown casino to create jobs and increase revenues. 


  • Cohen calls mass transit "the biggest and best conservation measure." He supports building the Southwest and Bottineau light rail lines (Campaign).

  • He opposes plans for a $200 million streetcar line, calling it an "expensive unnecessary toy" (Campaign).

Public Safety: 


  • His plan to reduce property taxes relies on the city eliminating "foolish spending," like the deal to fund a new Vikings stadium. He says new job opportunities will bring new taxpayers. 


  • Cohen successfully sued the Star Tribune in the 1980s for revealing him as the source of a tip about a lieutenant governor candidate's criminal record. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in Cohen's favor. Cohen wrote a book about the experience.

  • As a Hennepin County-appointed member of the city's Planning Commission, Cohen has fought against conflicts of interest on that influential development board. He began sitting out votes in 2012 because commissioners were increasingly recusing themselves due to involvement in projects before the body.

  • Cohen owns horses, one of which is named "Anonymous Source" (Southwest Journal).