Six key Minneapolis mayoral candidates make their pitches

  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 5:20 PM

Essays by Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels and Cam Winton.


Photo: Fred Matamoros, News Tribune/MCT

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On Tuesday, for the first time in 20 years, Minneapolis voters will choose a mayor from a ballot that does not include an incumbent. The Star Tribune Editorial Board asked six of the leading mayoral contenders to make their final arguments on why they should succeed R.T. Rybak, who is not seeking re-election after three terms. The board, which operates independently from news editors and reporters, made its own ranked endorsements Oct. 27. Read the full text of the endorsements, as well as our “Growing Minneapolis” series on key issues in the race. For biographical information on all 35 candidates in the mayoral race, go to



My vision for our city’s future is rooted in my own Minneapolis experience. I was born and raised here in a working-class family and, like my kids, was educated in our public schools. Connie and I started our business here, and I served as chair of the Hennepin County Board and led the DFL for Sen. Paul Wellstone’s re-election. I’ve done well. But the opportunities I had don’t reach everyone. I’m running for mayor to make our great city great for everyone.

We accomplished a lot at Hennepin County. We passed pay equity for women and domestic partnerships benefits, and we built the Midtown Greenway. But I’m not running for mayor based on the past; I’m running to lead us into the future.

As mayor, I will:

• Ensure that all children are educated for success. Our next mayor has to address our achievement gap. I will bring people together to focus on ensuring that every child succeeds from cradle to career.

• Create jobs and economic development. We will grow our economy through transportation, job training, and enhancing partnerships with business and workers — the same innovative and collaborative thinking that made light rail happen.

• Make Minneapolis the greenest city in America. This is good for the environment and grows the economy. I’m proud of my work collaborating to create green innovations like our recycling program and the Midtown Greenway. Together, we will do more.

We will do this while providing basic services like street repair, snow removal and public safety, so that every neighborhood is a great place to live.

I am a proven progressive leader who knows that the most effective way to get results is by working with partners across our community to continue moving forward.

Learn more about my vision at: I ask for your first choice vote for mayor.




I believe that the next mayor of Minneapolis must be someone who is dedicated to the growth of this city and is capable of shepherding the city as it deals with deep gaps in health, education and income. The next mayor must be someone capable of personal accountability, and of placing the city’s needs before her or his own political future.

While serving on the City Council and as council president, I made the hard decisions necessary to move our city forward — settling the Hollman lawsuit and building Heritage Park — and championed the hard votes, such as keeping Target headquarters and the Federal Reserve in downtown Minneapolis. At the time, these were controversial votes. In retrospect, they helped build a stable tax and employment base that allowed Minneapolis to survive the recent deep recession better than most cities in the country.

After losing a close election, I spent the last 11 years running my own business. I took the lessons I learned from my time on the City Council and used them to help other businesses, large and small, navigate the challenges of doing business with the city of Minneapolis. Through this, I learned that creative solutions come from the private sector as well as the public, and that the best solutions are often a public-private partnership.

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  • MARK Andrew

  • JACKIE Cherryhomes

  • DAN Cohen

  • Betsy Hodges

  • DON Samuels

  • CAM Winton

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