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Minneapolis mayoral candidates weigh in on one another

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: October 11, 2013 - 7:46 AM

Top mayoral candidates are still reticent about sharing their second and third choices for mayor, but they are now offering more insight into their consideration.

The Nov. 5 election will be the city's second using ranked choice voting, which takes into account voters' second and third preferences when determining a winner.

Six of eight candidates surveyed were willing to give some explanation of what they appreciate about some of their colleagues. That's up from our last survey in August. Bob Fine and Mark Andrew did not weigh in.

Among the takeaways? Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels and Cam Winton all listed each other among their top choices -- a possible sign of a budding alliance. Hodges and Samuels also mentioned Jackie Cherryhomes, though Winton did not.

Only one candidate, Cherryhomes, mentioned Andrew. Cherryhomes mentioned every other top candidate except Winton and Hodges.

Here are their e-mailed responses:

Cam Winton:

"I'll be ranking either Betsy Hodges or Don Samuels as my second choice and the other as my third. Respectfully, I disagree with both on building $54-million-per-mile streetcar lines (they support; I favor enhancing our existing bus lines instead for $2 million/mile). I disagree with Councilmember Samuels on the Vikings stadium (the City got a raw deal). But I admire Councilmember Hodges for her gutsy work on pension reform, Samuels for his gutsy work on education reform, and both for their integrity. I've participated in dozens of debates with them. Unlike some of our opponents, they say the same thing in every single debate, regardless of the audience. I respect that."

Dan Cohen: (Same response as prior inquiry)

"1) Me

2) Betsy Hodges

3) Gary Schiff"

(Schiff is no longer running, but Cohen said he contributed to his campaign and it is somewhat of "a symbolic vote.")

Jackie Cherryhomes:

"I have not yet determined my 2nd or 3rd choice votes. As I’ve said publicly, Mark Andrew and Don Samuels have both been personal friends of mine for more than 30 years. Recently, I held a press conference with Dan Cohen, I’ve admired Bob Fine’s work for our parks and Stephanie Woodruff is an impressive candidate.

How I’d rank these candidates and allocate my votes is something that is very difficult for me to do, as I am focused on asking voters to be their first choice."

Bob Fine:

"I will not disclose my second and third choices for mayor."

Mark Andrew:

"Many voters have told me they are looking for someone who will continue to embody the energy and forward-thinking nature of our city, and who has a record of accomplishment to back it up. I agree, and that's what I'm looking for in who will get my 2nd and 3rd place votes."

Stephanie Woodruff:

"I continue to have Don as one of my choices because of his passion for education.  However, his support for using scarce city dollars for the Vikings Stadium gives me great concern. I do not know how I will rank him yet. Also, I have not decided on another choice yet either. Campaigns matter, and we are just getting into the heat of it. I’ll probably make my final decision in the voting booth."

Don Samuels:

"While I am still making my final decisions, I can tell you that my 2nd and 3rd choices will almost certainly be some combination of Betsy Hodges, Cam Winton, and Jackie Cherryhomes.

I have made no secret of the fact that I believe the next mayor must be someone who is willing to dive fearlessly into our historic challenges, namely Education and Public Safety, with the understanding that these issues are inextricably linked to our prospects for future prosperity. And I know firsthand that to have any hope of addressing these issues, the next mayor must have a steadfast conviction in the face of opposition from the status quo.

I have known Jackie personally for the better part of 15 years, and there are few people with a greater commitment to the community. She has a record of standing by difficult decisions and has the political acumen to negotiate a compromise.

Betsy and I have worked closely together on the council, and I admire her unapologetic tenacity on issues like pension reform, along with her great compassion for those who are undervalued by our society.

As I have gotten to know Cam, he has proven a willingness to challenge everything to ensure citizens are getting the most for their tax dollars. His commitment to transforming educational outcomes is clear, and I respect his willingness to cross party lines in support of social justice."

Betsy Hodges

"I am not yet ready to decide on my second and third choices, but there are strong qualities I see in my fellow candidates. Cam Winton has stated his positions honestly and consistently to many different audiences, and our next mayor must have that level of integrity. Don Samuels also has that level of integrity, and I also share his passion for putting children first. 

Others have focused on issues I am committed to. Jackie Cherryhomes and I share a commitment to public safety, and Dan Cohen and I are both committed to fiscal responsibility. However, it matters very little whom I will ultimately vote for and much more how Minneapolis voters evaluate their choices. We need a progressive candidate with the independence from special interests and integrity to lead, and the experience and vision to keep Minneapolis moving forward."

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