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Labor-endorsed McLaughlin loses big
in Mayor’s race, but AFL-CIO candidates
win City Council, Park, Library seats

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 17, 2005

By Steve Share, Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — The results of the November 8 election brought key losses but more wins for local candidates running with AFL-CIO endorsement. Although Labor’s endorsed candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis — Peter McLaughlin — was trounced by incumbent Mayor R.T. Rybak, AFL-CIO endorsed candidates prevailed in 11 of 13 races for City Council, won eight of nine Park Board seats, and took four of six Library Board seats.

Rybak outpolled McLaughlin 61 percent to 37 percent: a margin of 17,391 votes.

McLaughlin — who won every labor endorsement — will retain his seat on the Hennepin County Board. He said he remains concerned that “what’s happening to working people and poor people in this city needs more attention.” He added, “we’re moving to becoming ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ in this city.”

City Council: 11 of 13 seats won by AFL-CIO candidates

In Ward 1, incumbent Paul Ostrow sailed to re-election with 67 percent of the vote versus 32 percent for Erik Johnson. Ostrow had DFL endorsement and AFL-CIO endorsement. Ostrow, currently the Council President, may not retain that position when the new Council takes office.

In Ward 2, Green Party endorsee Cam Gordon scored an upset by narrowly beating Cara Letofsky, who was endorsed by the DFL and the AFL-CIO. Gordon polled 51 percent, compared to 48 percent for Letofsky. Gordon’s margin of victory was just 141 votes out of 4,841.

Ward 3 gave an easy win to Diane Hofstede, who was endorsed by both the DFL and the AFL-CIO. She won 71 percent of the vote, compared to 28 percent for Green Party endorsee Aaron Neumann.

Ward 4 incumbent Barb Johnson was unopposed for re-election. She had DFL and AFL-CIO endorsement.

In a bitter contest in Ward 5, AFL-CIO endorsed Don Samuels beat Natalie Johnson Lee 55 percent to 44 percent. Both were incumbents pitted against each other as a result of redistricting. Samuels was DFL endorsed while Johnson Lee was Green Party endorsed.

The Ward 6 contest also pitted two incumbents against each other, DFLer Robert Lilligren and the Green Party’s Dean Zimmermann. AFL-CIO endorsed Lilligren topped Zimmermann by just 46 votes (a recount may be coming).

Facing just token opposition, incumbent Lisa Goodman won re-election in Ward 7 with 84 percent of the vote. She was DFL and AFL-CIO endorsed.

In Ward 8, another upset for Labor: Elizabeth Glidden beat AFL-CIO endorsed  Marie Hauser 59 percent to 41 percent.

Ward 9 incumbent Gary Schiff, who was DFL and AFL-CIO endorsed, beat Green Party candidate Dave Bicking 59 percent to 31 percent.

The Ward 10 contest saw AFL-CIO endorsed Ralph Remington beat Scott Persons 54 percent to 45 percent.

Ward 11 incumbent Scott Benson, DFL and AFL-CIO endorsed, won 90 percent of the vote against a token opponent.

Ward 12 incumbent Sandy Colvin Roy, who was DFL and AFL-CIO endorsed, beat challenger Kevin McDonald 53 percent to 46 percent.

In Ward 13, first-time candidate Betsy Hodges outpolled former Ward 10 Council Member Lisa McDonald 64 percent to 36 percent. Hodges was endorsed by the DFL, AFL-CIO, SEIU and UNITE HERE. She is the first DFLer to win this seat since 1989. McDonald had several labor endorsements, including AFSCME, Teamsters, Police, Fire and Building Trades.

Park Board: 8 of 9 seats

Every candidate with AFL-CIO endorsement won election to the Minneapolis Park Board: Mary Merrill Anderson, Tom Nordyke, Annie Young (all At-Large); Walt Dziedzic (District 1); Jon Olson (District 2); Tracy Nordstrom (District 4); Carol Kummer (District 5); Bob Fine (District 6). The AFL-CIO made no endorsement in the District 3 race, which was won handily by Scott Vreeland.

Library Board: 4 of 6 seats

For six at-large seats on the Minneapolis Library Board, the AFL-CIO made five endorsements. Four of the five won: Alan Hooker, Rod Krueger, Sheldon Mains, and Laura Waterman Wittstock. Gary Thaden placed seventh and was not elected.

Visit www.minneapolisunions.org for election night photos and additional election news and analysis.


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