A North Side council member and state senator are both vying for Mark Stenglein's vacated seat on the Hennepin County Board.

Don Samuels, a nine-year veteran of the City Council, said on Facebook that he was running because his current position has a "limited interface with the most important facet of community transformation: Families."

"What a great opportunity this will be, to shift the focus of county efforts from assistance to transformation," wrote Samuels, who represents Jordan, Willard-Hay, Near-North and Harrison neighborhoods.

A win could have implications at City Hall, since Samuels is one of the mayor's closest allies on the Council. He's also a supporter of the mayor's stadium plan, should Hennepin County choose to jump into the funding discussions.

Samuels also proposed installing streetcars along West Broadway, a project that will depend heavily on the County's opinion.

Sen. Linda Higgins announced her candidacy on Twitter last week. Higgins had already planned to retire from her senate seat this fall.

Two council members, Gary Schiff and Elizabeth Glidden, both posted messages on Facebook expressing their support for her candicacy.

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