The City Council endorsing convention for Minneapolis' Sixth Ward will go ahead on Saturday despite repeated efforts by two candidates to have it canceled, Minneapolis DFL Chairman Dan McConnell said Monday.
In a meeting Saturday, a committee of DFLers voted 11-4 to recommend the convention be canceled because of confusion at the April 4 caucus where delegates were chosen, and because the convention poses a "potential safety risk for participants," candidate Mohamud Noor said in a statement. Noor and Tiffini Flynn Forslund, who are both challenging incumbent Council Member Abdi Warsame, want the convention canceled.
"We can't cancel it," McConnell said. "The bylaws say that if you cancel it you have to reschedule it within 45 days."
McConnell said that since the convention must be rescheduled, and because he has found little evidence that delegates selected for the convention shouldn't have been chosen, the event will go forward. He said he went through about half the names of delegates Sunday night and found half a dozen who don't live in the ward, which is not an unusual number. He planned to go through the rest of the names Monday night.
"It's a minuscule number of people that we can't verify using the secretary of state's voter registration database," McConnell said.
The procedural battle over whether to hold the convention follows a contentious caucus night with massive turnout in the ward that includes the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Noor and Warsame, the two leading candidates in the Somali-dominated ward, are longtime acquaintances and occasional rivals.
Warsame, who believes he won an overwhelming number of delegates at the caucuses, has been pushing for the convention to go ahead for weeks. Noor and Flynn Forslund have the backing of progressives, including the Bernie Sanders spinoff group Our Revolution and state Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, in their effort to get it canceled.
"It's inconvenient to have to cancel a convention, but it is not worth sacrificing the integrity of the DFL and its election process," Noor said in a statement.
Flynn Forslund said she worries that just figuring out who qualifies to be a delegate will drag things out.
"This convention is going to be extremely long and time-consuming just figuring out who was credentialed," she said.
Noor pledged Monday to challenge "every single delegate" at the convention, which could make for a long day. Noor was sharply critical Monday of McConnell for "ignoring" the recommendations of the committee.
"He wants chaos and he wants to say, 'I did my job,' " Noor said. "That's what he's trying to do. So we'll see how things go."
The event starts Saturday at 11 a.m. at Northeast Middle School, 2955 Hayes St. NE, after two other potential locations fell through. It will be the last of the 13 Minneapolis ward conventions. The citywide convention, at which delegates will try to endorse a candidate for mayor, will be July 8.