The field of candidates for Minneapolis City Council narrowed in the Third Ward Saturday when Steve Fletcher won the DFL endorsement over Cordelia Pierson.
After one round of voting, Pierson withdrew her candidacy before vote counts were announced and asked delegates to endorse Fletcher. Both candidates had pledged to suspend their campaign if the other won the party’s endorsement.
“I want each of you to show the leadership you promised,” Pierson told the crowd of nearly 300 delegates, who rose in a standing ovation when she announced her withdrawal. “May you give some of your time and talent to make the city better — because Steve can’t do it alone.”
Though Fletcher garnered the party nod, his race isn’t over. Green Party candidate Samantha Pree-Stinson and Socialist Alternative candidate Ginger Jentzen are also running for the open seat. The ward’s current council member, Jacob Frey, is running for mayor.
Bids for the endorsement were less competitive in other parts of the city. Council Member Andrew Johnson won the endorsement in the 12th Ward, and in the Second Ward — where Green Party incumbent Cam Gordon is running for re-election — no one sought the endorsement.
In the Third Ward, delegate support appeared split between Fletcher and Pierson early in the day.
Though community organizer Fletcher and environmental lawyer Pierson differed in background and policy specifics, they agreed on key issues.
Their similarities were most evident during a congenial question-and-answer session, in which both shared policy ideas and expressed support for increasing the availability of affordable housing, supporting small businesses, implementing a citywide $15 minimum wage and improving community relations with police.
After Pierson withdrew and delegates voted in a unanimous shout of support to endorse Fletcher, Fletcher took to the DeLaSalle High School auditorium stage.
“I will do everything in my power to live up to this moment,” he said, surrounded by a throng of supporters clad in bright green.