UPDATE (11:40): DFL chair wants mayoral endorsement
UPDATE (12:23): Mayoral candidate Hodges takes dig at rival
UPDATE (2:07): Three candidates promise to abide by DFL endorsement
Will the DFL endorse a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis?
That question will be answered this afternoon as party loyalists gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the party's city convention. Six candidates are pursuing the DFL endorsement -- five of them are current or former politicians -- and many believe the convention will adjourn Saturday without making a selection.
As of about 10 a.m. Saturday, about 919 delegates had signed into the convention.
The first votes on mayoral candidates began just before 2 p.m. A candidate must win 60 percent of the vote to snag the party endorsement. Only after five ballots can the convention adjourn without endorsement.
It was at this convention 12 years ago that then-activist R.T. Rybak successfuly blocked the endorsement of mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, illustrating the strength of his grassroots campaign. Sayles Belton was among the attendees on Saturday.
The candidates seeking endorsement are Mark Andrew, Gary Schiff, Betsy Hodges, Jackie Cherryhomes, Don Samuels and Jim Thomas.
The rules could make an endorsement more likely. It would drop candidates with less than 10 percent support after the first ballot, 20 percent after the second ballot and 30 percent after the third ballot. The fourth ballot would feature only two candidates.