The Star Tribune Editorial Board is withdrawing its endorsement for Michael "Mickey" Moore, a Ninth Ward City Council candidate in Minneapolis.
Shortly after posting our endorsement — which was based on candidate materials provided by Moore as well as an interview, a basic public records review and news coverage — the board became aware of a growing dispute on social media about Moore's primary residence. Deeper scrutiny was necessary, yielding unsatisfactory answers and additional questions.
Moore assured the Editorial Board this week that his family spends most of its time at a home in the Eighth Ward that he says he co-owns with his mother, although she is listed as the sole owner on Hennepin County real estate records. He also said he rented an apartment in the Ninth Ward early last year to meet the city election requirements that he live in the ward for at least 30 days — information he had previously shared with a Star Tribune reporter and other news outlets.
Moore said that he and his mother also co-own an Anoka County property that they generally visit on weekends and holidays. On Wednesday his campaign initially disputed new reporting by the Star Tribune newsroom, which operates independently from the Editorial Board, that he was listed on county records as a relative homesteading at the property in Oak Grove.
But the Editorial Board subsequently obtained the homestead application Moore and wife filed with Anoka County in 2013. When asked about that discrepancy, Moore's spokeswoman said it was a "gross oversight" that would be corrected and reiterated that the family has "primarily" lived in Minneapolis since 2015.
However, Moore also was registered to vote in Anoka County in October 2019, according to records reviewed by the Editorial Board, and he's currently registered in Minneapolis.
Although the board can't say whether Moore has violated any election laws, we expect candidates to be fully transparent when answering our questions. Moore has failed that test.
In addition, there are new concerns about offensive tweets dated several years ago from a Twitter account labeled "Mickey Moore" that appeared to include a photo of Moore.
When asked about the tweets on Wednesday, a campaign spokeswoman told the Editorial Board in an e-mail, "Clearly, someone created a fake Mickey Moore Twitter account, which they are using to try to paint him as homophobic and a host of other things." The spokeswoman added that Moore "has never owned a personal or business Twitter account" and said he would file a complaint with Twitter.
The Editorial Board was unable to immediately confirm the legitimacy of the tweets, even after additional reporting, but they add to our concerns. Twitter has now suspended the account.
The Editorial Board will not be making a new endorsement in the Ninth Ward race. For more information on that race and others in Minneapolis, see the voter's guide prepared by Star Tribune's newsroom.