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The last time a Minneapolis mayor’s race had no incumbent was 1993, when Mayor Don Fraser was to leave office after 14 years.
Andrew told a forum this spring that at the time, when he was county commissioner, he spoke with fellow commissioner McLaughlin and Sharon Sayles Belton, a Minneapolis council member, about which of them wanted to run for mayor someday. Sayles Belton ran and won (she now supports candidate Jackie Cherryhomes). McLaughlin ran and lost in 2005.
Hodges supporters home in on this anecdote as an example that Andrew’s bid was scripted long ago.
After leaving office in 1999, Andrew went into the private sector and eventually started his own green consulting firm. He said thoughts of a mayoral run dropped off his radar for some years — until Rybak announced he wouldn’t run for office again.
Andrew now describes himself as Rybak’s “philosophical soul mate.” But Schiff says Andrew’s policies would be a departure from the Rybak administration.
“In part, this is why I left the race — to not divide progressives and to make it more clear that there is a strong contrast between the past and our future on the ballot this November,” said Schiff.The sudden alliance at City Hall has surprised some.
“You have this kind of really weird bedfellow between two people who’ve really been on opposite sides,” said Becker. “Gary has been sort of the bomb thrower on a lot of different issues at the city against Rybak. So now he’s coalitioning with Betsy, who’s really tight with R.T. It’s really weird.” Maya Rao • 612-673-4210
Eric Roper • 612-673-1732