The campaign to succeed Melvin Carter III on the St. Paul City Council has started, with a Frogtown community activist and information technology manager declaring Thursday that he intends to run in the fall.
Dai Thao, 37, announced that he is running for the First Ward seat to be vacated this summer by Carter, who is leaving to become director of the state Office of Early Learning.
"St. Paul needs continued leadership from an invested and responsive leader who can work in partnership with the diverse members of the Ward 1 community," Thao said in a statement.
Thao, who is IT manager for the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery and a trustee chair of the Lao Family Foundation, has worked for 12 years in the Hmong community and with groups such as ISAIAH and TakeAction Minnesota. He was co-chair of state Rep. Rena Moran's first campaign and did outreach in the Hmong community for Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
The City Council is expected to appoint someone on an interim basis to take Carter's seat after he leaves the council in early July. Council President Kathy Lantry has said that council members prefer to appoint someone who will not run for the seat in the fall.