One last debate before packed mayoral election in Minneapolis

- Mayoral candidates in Minneapolis spent the final weekend before Election Day getting their message out to voters, including a stop at KMOJ radio in North Minneapolis for a final debate.

The event was sponsored by KMOJ-FM and Black Votes Matter MN, and moderated by author Resmaa Manakem and former two-term mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. The political veteran said events like this one are key for the candidates in the final hours of the campaign.

“The most important thing that happened today is people who maybe hadn’t decided and were listening heard something that inspired them to support a candidate and then on Tuesday, they’ll get out and vote,” she said. 

As of right now, city officials report increased turnout for in-person absentee and direct balloting in Minneapolis, a sign of heightened interest in the mayor's race and others down the ballot like the city council and the park board.

On Sunday, many of the candidates hoped to tap into that energy, driving voters with talk of economic development, police-community relations and affordable housing, a huge issue in this year's campaign.

CANDIDATES ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING

“I believe that people should have a choice and an option to live in different neighborhoods. I believe there should be affordable housing in Southwest and Northeast and Downtown, you name it. Because I do believe in the power of diversity.” --Jacob Frey

“I propose for next year a second year of a naturally occurring affordable housing strategy. It’s much less expensive to retain affordability than it is to create a new affordable unit.” --Betsy Hodges

“The other thing I would do is quickly bring together the metro area mayors, to begin to make the case at the state level for the funding that’s needed. Because we can’t solve this issue alone at the geographic limits of the city of Minneapolis.” --Tom Hoch

“We are displacing people and the costs of that displacement in other ways are going to cost us a whole lot more than just affordable housing costs.” --Raymond Dehn

“If people cannot go to work and earn a decent living, it is going to difficult to impossible to afford any type of housing, let alone the standard definition of affordable housing.” --Nekima Levy-Pounds

The city's early vote center is open until 5 p.m. Monday, though numbers for 2017 have already eclipsed those from the last election cycle. More than 10,645 absentee ballots have been filed, more than twice the amount accepted in 2013.

Election day polls across the city open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 8 p.m.

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