Frey squeaks out victory in race for Minneapolis mayor


Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

In a close victory, Ward 3 city council-member and DFL candidate Jacob Frey won the seat of mayor of Minneapolis, replacing incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Frey, a councilmember since 2013, ran on a platform that highlighted his accomplishments in Ward 3, which includes downtown, St. Anthony West, and a handful of other Minneapolis neighborhoods. His vision carries a focus on affordable housing, police reform and driving economic opportunity, according to his website.

Frey said that division runs deep in Minneapolis, that “we need bridge builders” and that the city needs a fresh start.

Approximately a week before the election, Aswar Rahman (who was previously featured in City College News) dropped out of the race to endorse Frey, stating that Frey was interested in his ideas of bringing municipal funding to MCTC’s TRIO program.

Frey was also endorsed by the Star Tribune on Oct. 27, citing his passion and ability to communicate, causing him to stand out in the city council.

“What I found [in Minneapolis] was this activist-engaged population that was fully capable of enacting the change they envisioned,” Frey said in a press conference following his victory. “I’m just so honored to be in a place where I can represent the greatest city in the whole damn world.”

According to Council President Johnson (middle), Frey worked hard on bringing X-Games to Minneapolis. After reading a resolution commemorating the event, he handed the microphone to Ryan McGinnis, director of event development for X-Games. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

In a race – and years preceding the race – that has included a turbulent social and political climate, including the police shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, Mayor Hodges faced glaring criticisms and attacks from opponents and constituents.

In July, a march led by Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, Communities United Against Police Brutality, and Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar hijacked a press conference, condemning Hodges and her inaction against police incidences and forced her out of the conference. Organizers from New North were also present at this march. Jon Thompson of New North endorsed Nekima Levy-Pounds during the press conference. Levy-Pounds ended the race with 15 percent of first-choice votes.

The city has also elected the first African-American transgender woman, Andrea Jenkins, to Ward 8. Jenkins is the first openly transgender black woman to hold public office in the country, and focused many of her key platforms around equity in various aspects of the city.

The only non-DFL candidates to win the first-choice votes include incumbent Cam Gordon (Green Party) in Ward 2 and Ginger Jentzen (Socialist Alternative) in Ward 3.

Frey takes notes during the Jun. 30 Minneapolis City Council meeting where $15 minimum wage was approved. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

[Update 11/20/2017: CCN incorrectly reported that Communities United Against Police Brutality and New North led the march on City Hall and endorsed Nekima Levy-Pounds. CUAPB does not endorse candidates, and there were 3 groups that included CUAPB who led that march. Specifically, Jon Thompson of New North (among other groups) endorsed Nekima Levy-Pounds during the press conference.]