The jockeying for mayor has begun.
With R.T. Rybak still mulling whether he'll seek a fourth term, one council member has thrown her hat in the ring as a possible successor if he chooses to step aside.
Betsy Hodges, the council's budget chair, filed campaign finance paperwork yesterday with Hennepin County announcing her intentions to run for City Hall's top post in 2013. Hodges says she won't run, however, if Rybak decides to seek another term.
"I want the city to keep running well," said Hodges, who represents the southwest corner of Minneapolis. "I want us to build a great city of the future. And I want to make sure that everybody is involved in building it and making it happen.”
One of Hodges' colleagues, Gary Schiff, is also considering a run for the city's top spot. He said last week that he will wait until January to make a decision.
Rybak has said he'll decide on a fourth term before Jan 1 -- some have speculated he could land a spot in D.C. Hodges said Rybak knows of her intentions, but she has no information about his plans for the future.
“R.T. is a good mayor," Hodges said. "If he chose to serve again I would respect that.”
The co-chairs of "Hodges for Mayor" are state senator Scott Dibble and civil rights activist Josie Johnson.
Before joining the Council, Hodges served as a development director for nonprofits, most recently for the Minnesota Justice Foundation. In July 2011, she married Gary Cunningham, who represents Minneapolis on the Metropolitan Council.
As budget chair for nearly three years, Hodges has had the high-profile but difficult task of shepherding the budget through the Council.
Hodges believes her chairmanship is a unique credential on her resume.
"[The] budget is the biggest piece of policy we do at the city because it affects everything we do," Hodges said. "And so it’s given me a first-hand working knowledge of how the city works. And also a first-hand close-up knowledge of where we are as a city and what our priorities are and what they could be moving forward.”
Hodges was one of six council members who voted against the Vikings stadium deal this spring, though she downplayed the contentious vote when asked about it.
“I know that there a number of people who care about the issue," Hodges said. "But I also know that folks in Minneapolis are focused on their basic services and focused on [where] the city’s going in the future. But I’m sure it will play some role.”