MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Jacob Frey will be the next mayor of Minneapolis.
The 36-year-old city council member was declared the unofficial winner of the election after several rounds of counting Wednesday, defeating incumbent Betsy Hodges and 14 other candidates.
Frey faced criticism throughout the election for being too young, too ambitious and not a originally from Minneapolis. But, at a press conference following his win, Frey said Minneapolis could "use some ambition."
"I think we need someone who is going to be ambitious to transform how the city functions, bridge some of these significant divides and ultimately get results for people who really need them," he said.
Frey said his number one priority when he takes off in January is to work with the new city council, school district and school board to create a set of values for the city.
"Once we've established that there are core values and beliefs that we collectively hold in our city, then I'm hopeful that regardless of disagreement that will inevitably come, we can start treating each other a little better," he said.
Frey led the mayoral candidates Tuesday night with 25 percent of first-choice votes, but did not get the majority required under Minneapolis' ranked-choice voting system. Tom Hoch was in second with 19 percent of first-place votes followed closely by incumbent Betsy Hodges, Raymond Dehn and Nekima Levy-Pounds.
Tabulation of the second-choice votes began shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, with Frey prevailing after five rounds.
Frey represents Ward 3 on the Minneapolis City Council, which encompasses Northeast, the North Loop and downtown neighborhoods. Steve Fletcher won election to Ward 3 and will fill his seat.
Mayor Betsy Hodges statement
Mayor Betsy Hodges posted a statement on her campaign Facebook page Wednesday afternoon congratulating Frey on his win.
“I recently spoke to Jacob Frey and congratulated him on his victory. I told him that I know he loves Minneapolis and that I am committed to a smooth transition.
Together, Minneapolis, we’ve made real change, and lasting change in our city. We built the strongest foundation for transforming policing of any city in the country, and chose a new Police Chief who is leading us to the next horizon of transformation in policing. We made sure no one has to choose between getting well and getting paid. We passed a 15-dollar minimum wage that does not leave tipped workers behind. We made sure every neighborhood in our city has organics recycling. And we assembled a Cradle to K Cabinet that is working to prevent disparities for our youngest children before they arise. We made a great city greater — for everyone.
Among all the great things about our great city, the part of Minneapolis that I love above all is you: the most welcoming, engaged, passionate, diverse, committed, determined, strong, and loving people anywhere.
Serving as Mayor of Minneapolis is the greatest honor of my life. Thank you to my world-class supporters, volunteers, staff, friends, family, and the coalition of progressive organizations and leaders without whom I would not have had this incredible privilege. You have all been stronger, wiser, more talented, and more committed than I could have ever hoped for. And thank you, my beloved Minneapolis, from the bottom of my heart."