Every St. Paul City Council member will face at least one challenger in the November election.
The 28 candidates who filed by the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday include the seven current council members, and community organizers, entrepreneurs and a major in the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Interim Council Member Kassim Busuri is running despite pledging not to do so as a condition of getting the appointment. He has refused his council colleagues’ requests either to step down or drop out of the race.
Community organizers Nelsie Yang and Danielle Swift, former planning commissioner Terri Thao, previous candidate Greg Copeland and former entrepreneur Alexander Bourne are also running for the Sixth Ward seat.
“We’re all working really hard, and that’s what we have to do,” Busuri said Tuesday. “It’s not going to be an easy race. I don’t take that for granted.”
The six council members running for re-election all won the St. Paul DFL endorsement earlier this year. There was no endorsement in the Sixth Ward race.
Council Member Dai Thao, who represents the First Ward, is challenged by Minneapolis NAACP Vice President Anika Bowie, public health advocate Liz de la Torre and community activist Abu Nayeem, who describes himself as the “Frogtown Crusader.”
In the Second Ward, marketing professional Lindsay Ferris Martin, retail worker Helen Meyers — a member of the Socialist Workers Party — along with previous candidate Bill Hosko and perennial candidate Sharon Anderson are challenging Council Vice President Rebecca Noecker.
Third Ward Council Member Chris Tolbert has one challenger: attorney and Macalester-Groveland resident Patricia Hartmann.
In the Fourth Ward, Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson is running against Tarrence Robertson-Bayless, a major with the 34th infantry division of the Minnesota Army National Guard, and Chris Holbrook, who ran for governor as a Libertarian in 2014 and for St. Paul mayor in 2017.
Council President Amy Brendmoen has three challengers in the Fifth Ward: Bob Blake, who owns a solar energy installation business; Jamie Hendricks, who runs the North End Free Pantry; and Suyapa Miranda, the former executive director of the St. Anthony Park Community Council.
In the Seventh Ward, Council Member Jane Prince is running against artist and community organizer Mary Anne Quiroz, Dayton’s Bluff resident Kartumu King and David Thom, who owns the Groomsmen dog grooming shop in Minneapolis.
Four St. Paul school board seats will also be on the ballot Nov. 5.
Ten candidates filed to run as of late Tuesday afternoon. They include incumbents Zuki Ellis and Steve Marchese, who were endorsed by the city DFL and St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE), and Chauntyll Allen, a special education assistant known for her work in the Black Lives Matter movement, who also has the backing of both groups.
Other candidates who filed and who vied unsuccessfully for DFL endorsement in June include Charlie Castro, Jessica Kopp, Omar Syed and Ryan Williams. Kopp is a former middle and high school teacher who has SPFE support.
The remaining candidates are Tiffany Fearing, Jennifer McPherson and Elijah Norris-Holliday.
Jon Schumacher and Mary Vanderwert are not seeking re-election.