In an unusual vote of no-confidence in one of their colleagues, four council members officially endorsed the upstart opponent of Ward 3 representative Diane Hofstede on Wednesday.

Jacob Frey, an attorney running for Hofstede's seat straddling the city's central riverfront, announced endorsements from Gary Schiff, Elizabeth Glidden, Robert Lilligren and Lisa Goodman on Wednesday afternoon. It represents an early blow to Hofstede, a seven-year member of the Council who has taken criticism in recent years for being ineffective and unresponsive.

"I support Jacob Frey for City Council because I'm convinced he's the kind of guy who is going to return a phone call, particularly for our small business owners,” said Schiff, who is also running for mayor.

The 31-year-old Frey first came onto the political scene last year, when he ran unsuccessfully for a state senate seat in Northeast Minneapolis. An avid runner, Frey also founded the Big Gay Race.

Wednesday's endorsements represent one of the most significant announcements yet in the still-young City Council re-election campaigns, which will be on the ballot in Nov. 2013.

“I'm supporting Jacob Frey because he has shown he can bring people together, to address an issue, to solve a problem, to energize a group," Lilligren said. "As a City Council member, I'm looking for allies and colleagues on the City Council that can get things done.”

Goodman called Frey "intelligent, articulate, responsive and really hard working." Glidden said he "is someone that can take a big vision and then have the 'do-it-tuitiveness' to get it done."