Cam Gordon wins!!
In probably the most stunning upset of the season,
Cam Gordon beat Cara Letofsky for a seat on the Minneapolis City
Council from Ward A.
In the Primary Election Cam got only 885 votes
or 37% of the total to Cara's 1294. She looked like she had an insurmountable
lead. At the victory party after the Primary, Cam admitted he "had
a lot of work to do." They, and particularly Robin Garwood,
did the work, and brought home the only Green City Council seat
for the next four years. Dean Zimmermann lost in the 6th and Natalie
Johnson Lee lost in the 5th.
Cara Letofsky was a formidable opponent. She
was very involved in her community, went to every neighborhood meeting,
was well known and well liked. Perhaps her greatest strength might
also have been her greatest weakness. Her husband, Jim Davnie, represents
a lot of the 2nd Ward as part of his legislative district. Although
that meant she had easy access to lists and volunteers, it's possible
that the voters felt that two might be too many people in one family
feeding at the public trough.
The Second Ward is always interesting. Just four
years ago, for the first time in fifty years of City elections,
they turned out an incumbent, Joan Campbell, in the Primary. Cam
Gordon did well in that election, but Paul Zerby beat him for the
seat. Most observers thought Cam came close last time because there
was a split in the DFL. Zerby had challenged Campbell for the endorsement
and ran against her in the Primary. A split in the DFL is always
thought to benefit the Green candidate. And a lot of people believed
many of Campbell's people voted against Zerby and for Gordon. Four
years ago Natalie Johnson Lee ran against Jackie Cherryhomes in
the 5th DFL endorsing convention, and, when Cherryhomes got the
endorsement, Johnson Lee went next door and got the Green's. Dean
Zimmermann showed up at the 6th Ward endorsing convention and was
gagged by Rick Stafford. The picture of him with duct tape over
his mouth was the most memorable image of that race. Both Green
candidates won with some DFL support. This year the 5th and 6th
DFL were pretty united.
As the sole Green member of the City Council,
Cam could easily be isolated. But the City Council is pretty gregarious
and most issues don't get settled just on party lines. It's more
likely that Cam will find company with some of the more progressive
new members like Ralph Remington and Elizabeth Glidden. It will
still be difficult to put together seven votes (there are thirteen
members). Robert Lilligren, Gary Schiff and Don Samuels could be
counted on to support most progressive causes, but after that it
gets difficult to count that last vote. And the only rule in politics
is to know how to count.
Sandy Colvin Roy ran up a convincing 53% or 4123
votes in her victory over a very spirited Kevin McDonald. McDonald
found it difficult to find issues connecting to the voters. In the
final days, after Roy filed her campaign contributors list, McDonald
was able to point out that most of Roy's contributors were tied
to developers outside the ward. But by that time most voters had
already made up
Gary Schiff easily beat Dave Bicking of the Green
Party in the 9th 2549 votes to 1315, or 59% to 30.5%. Dave Shegstad
ran a write in campaign that polled 447 votes or 10.3%.
Congratulations to the winners and special thanks
to all who ran and didn't win but tried to contribute to meaningful
public discussion of community issues.