St. Paul DFLers endorsed three City Council incumbents at uncontested conventions Sunday.
Council Members Mitra Jalali Nelson, Rebecca Noecker and Chris Tolbert all earned the party nod at conventions held immediately after caucuses Sunday afternoon. The St. Paul DFL combined ward caucuses and conventions in races where only one candidate sought the endorsement.
Election Day is Nov. 5, and elected council members will take office in January 2020.
“We’ve got to do a lot to organize our community, y’all, so this is just the beginning,” Nelson told more than 200 Fourth Ward delegates huddled on the bleachers in the Murray Middle School gym.
The DFL endorsement is an important stamp of approval in St. Paul, where the council is made up entirely of DFLers. It also provides candidates with access to voter lists and the party’s help with campaigning.
All seven council seats are up for election in November. Incumbent Council Members Amy Brendmoen, Dai Thao and Jane Prince also had caucuses Sunday but will seek the endorsement at conventions in April or May.
In the race for the open Sixth Ward seat, which longtime Council Member Dan Bostrom left in December, five candidates — Nelsie Yang, Terri Thao, Alexander Bourne, Tony Her and Danielle Swift — will compete for the DFL endorsement at the ward convention April 27.
In addition to electing delegates for ward conventions, residents who attended caucuses Sunday heard speeches from council and school board candidates and passed resolutions on issues ranging from restoring voting rights for felons to changing how the city contracts with haulers for organized trash collection.
Delegates will endorse candidates for school board offices at the citywide DFL convention June 23.
Nelson was elected to the Fourth Ward council seat in a special election in August and is running for her first full term. Noecker is running for a second term representing the Second Ward, and Tolbert is running for a third term representing the Third Ward.