In a speech billed as the "closing argument" after a year-long campaign, Betsy Hodges on Thursday accused her opponent Mark Andrew of trying to "buy his way into the mayor's office."
Her remarks came as Andrew announced yet another high-profile DFL endorsement, this time from House Speaker Paul Thissen.
Much like her speech to the DFL convention in July, Hodges framed the election as a decision between moving forward or returning to the politics of yesteryear.
"Do we take on our toughest challenge, knowing it will lead to our brightest future? Do we choose One Minneapolis?" Hodges said, according to prepared remarks (below). "Or do we choose the old way, the inside baseball way, the way about special deals and old boys network and who you know? The way of corporate subsidies, and lip service to communities of color?"
While not referencing Andrew by name, it was heavily implied. "We are not one Minneapolis when the candidate for mayor with the biggest war chest and the most money from big donors tries to buy his way into the mayor’s office," Hodges said. Andrew has raised more than any other candidate in the race.
The rally and speech occured at 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis.
Andrew's campaign announced Thissen's endorsement half an hour after Hodges was scheduled to deliver her speech.
“Mark Andrew is the one candidate in this race with the progressive pedigree and collaborative strength to keep our city moving forward," Thissen, who represents South Minneapolis, said in a statement.
Andrew already boasts the most establishment support in the race.
His other endorsements include former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman and an array of current and former legislators and school board members.
Update: Andrew's campaign spokeswoman, Marion Greene, responded that Andrew has built the broadest and most diverse coalition. "Earning broad support is the sign of a leader who can move Minneapolis forward, and that's what she’s attacking here," Greene said in an emailed statement. She said Hodges had made a personal loan the size of a new car to her campaign, and that "it's clear who’s trying to buy her way into the mayor's office."
Photo credit: File / Jerry Holt