Aswar Rahman, a 23-year-old Minneapolis mayoral hopeful who pressed for greater fiscal discipline at City Hall, has suspended his campaign.
His name will still be on the ballot, but he said late Wednesday he has endorsed Council Member Jacob Frey.
Rahman, always a long-shot, participated in dozens of mayoral forums and offered several concrete proposals.
He laid out a detailed plan on his website, promising to defund Meet Minneapolis and devote most of the money to scholarships for low-income students to attend Minneapolis Community and Technical College and to low-income parents to enroll their children in preschool. He also laid out an extensive police reform plan.
Rahman said he was initially skeptical of Frey — thought he was too slick — but came to believe he is the only mayoral candidate with a “coherent, specific vision for our city,” and he was impressed when Frey approached him to ask about his plan to devote money to MCTC scholarships. Frey said he would also pursue some form of the policy.
A native of Bangladesh who immigrated to the U.S. with his mother when he was 6, Rahman grew up in northeast Minneapolis and is a filmmaker and software developer. He said Thursday he will stay involved with politics and didn’t rule out another run for mayor.
In a statement on his website, Rahman admitted that his campaign faltered in August and was outspent, out-organized and out-strategized. He blasted the “hypocrisy and fluff,” “empty rhetoric,” “buzzwords and doublespeak” of the mayoral campaign.
“Our city’s politics are lousy with these folks,” Rahman said. “We’ve made a lot of enemies, but all the right ones.”