St. Paul’s election season officially kicked off Tuesday with nine candidates waiting at the Ramsey County Elections bureau to file for office when the doors opened at 8 a.m.
First to file were two contenders for the City Council’s open Second Ward seat: nonprofit official Rebecca Noecker and County Board aide Darren Tobolt. Following them was businessman David Glass, who is challenging incumbent Amy Brendmoen in the Fifth Ward. All are DFLers, although none won party endorsement.
Noecker was at the elections office at 7:15 with her husband and sons, 45 minutes before the doors opened.
“I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting to do this for the last year and a half,” she said.
Also filing for the City Council were Third Ward incumbent Chris Tolbert and Sixth Ward incumbent Dan Bostrom. Both are DFL endorsees.
DFL-endorsed candidates for the school board — Zuki Ellis, Steve Marchese, Jon Schumacher and Mary Vanderwert — also filled out affidavits of candidacy.
The school board candidates, all of them political newcomers, sprang from the “Caucus for Change” movement that has been critical of district leadership under Superintendent Valeria Silva. The movement, affiliated with the teachers union, has expressed special concern about student behavior problems.
Another DFL-endorsed City Council candidate, attorney Jane Prince, was at the elections office but didn’t file. Prince, a former council aide who is running for the open Seventh Ward seat, expected to file by petition later this week after collecting the required number of signatures from eligible voters.
The process, she said, underscores support for her candidacy and also saves her the $250 filing fee ordinarily required of City Council candidates. (School board candidates, on the other hand, pay only $2).
Two other candidates filed later Tuesday to run for the Fifth Ward seat: Brendmoen, who is seeking her second term, and David Sullivan-Nightengale, a safety engineer and first-time candidate who is endorsed by the Independence Party. Perennial candidate Sharon Anderson, who ran for mayor in 2013, filed to run for the Second Ward seat.
Filing for office in St. Paul closes on August 11.