Seven new City Council members will head to City Hall this January, the first time since 2001 that a majority of the council changed in an election.

Three challengers defeated incumbents on Tuesday night. Three races for open council seats will be decided by second- and third-choice votes. And Andrew Johnson won the open seat representing southwest Minneapolis.

Likely the last majority turnover before that was the 1978 election, when Al Hofstede was also sent back to City Hall after a brief hiatus. Minnesota Election Trends blogger Neal Baxter pointed that out to us this morning.

Baxter added that big changes occurred several times prior to that. "In 1961 and 1974, 8 City Council seats changed hands (and we elected a new mayor both years)," Baxter wrote in an e-mail.