A Hopkins mayoral candidate said this week that a proposed light-rail line would bring “riff raff and trash from Minneapolis” into the suburb, including people he called “ethnics” and “coloreds.”
The candidate, Bob Ivers, made the comments during a discussion about the Southwest line at a candidate forum held Monday by the League of Women Voters.
Ivers ran unsuccessfully for mayor two years ago and is again challenging incumbent Molly Cummings. A video clip of the forum drew critical reaction Friday.
“The light rail to me is nothing but a tube that’s going to bring riff raff and trash from Minneapolis,” Ivers, 64, says in the clip. “It’s going to make it easy for them to come into Hopkins.”
Cummings disagreed, calling light rail “a wonderful opportunity” to fill jobs in the city and saying that she didn’t “see an excessive influx of crime coming into this city” as a result. She didn’t comment on Ivers’ more pointed remarks at the forum, but she said Friday that they were “outrageous, unfortunate and … frightening.”
The video clip was widely shared Friday on Facebook and Twitter. “I hope the good people of Hopkins see past these poisonous beliefs,” one woman said on Facebook.
Three Hopkins stations are planned for the Southwest line, which would run between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.
Ivers ran against Cummings for mayor in 2015 and received 7 percent of the vote — fewer than the write-in option. Cummings won with more than 80 percent of the vote.
Ivers, a self-described inventor, sued the city of Hopkins months before the 2015 election after he was cited for trespassing at an apartment complex. After the suit was dismissed, he was convicted last winter of stalking the clerk of the judge who dismissed the suit. He was given a stayed sentence of 180 days and two years’ probation.
Ivers, who is appealing that decision, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
In the video clip, Ivers says: “You listen real close. All the Chicago and Detroit riff raff that have moved into welfare-apolis, they’re gonna get on that train. And you know where they’re gonna end up? They’re gonna end up down at the Depot [Coffee House], and they’re gonna end up with [your] … granddaughters and daughters and grandsons.
“And I predict within two months of that coming through here, there’s gonna be a shooting down at that … Depot.”
Ivers said that Hopkins’ population is 90 percent white. But the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey show that 56 percent of the city’s residents call themselves white.