The changing face of Minneapolis' City Council

- In a night of firsts for the Twin Cities, Minneapolis elected its first African-American transgender man and woman to city council, while nearly electing its first socialist in over a generation.

Minneapolis' ranked-choice voting meant delays in declaring winners until Wednesday afternoon, confirming the results of some races after counting the first-place votes while toppling others with big preliminary leads.

Andrea Jenkins is set to become the first African-American trans woman elected to City Council in a major American city, winning in the first round of a ranked-choice vote with well over five times the number of votes as her nearest competitor. She will represent Ward 8, which runs south from Lake Street to Minnehaha Creek and encompasses the Lyndale, Bryant, Kingfield and Northrop neighborhoods, among others.

“We can say residents of Ward 8 & Minneapolitans said 'no' to hatred," she said Wednesday. "'No' to Transphobia, 'no' to racism and, 'let a black woman lead.' That's incredible.”

As election officials continued tabulating votes Wednesday it became clear that longtime council President Barb Johnson was in danger of being ousted by Phillipe Cunningham, who would join Jenkins as the first black trans man elected to the council. Just after 3:00 p.m. the city updated its website to reflect Cunningham's victory, giving north Minneapolis a new representative for the first time in more than 20 years. 

Cunningham, however, isn't the only new representative north Minneapolis voted in Tuesday, with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's son Jeremiah winning his own election in the city's fifth ward to oust incumbent Blong Yang, who was first elected in 2013 as the city's first Hmong-American council member.

In Ward 3, DFL-endorsed Steve Fletcher overcame an 8-point election night deficit to pull off a victory against Socialist Alternative's Ginger Jentzen, with the help of more than 90 percent of the race's second choice votes. He will now represent the area that includes a portion of downtown, Dinkytown and much of Northeast Minneapolis.

As much as things changed in some parts of the city, many things stayed the same, with both Lisa Goodman in Ward 7 and Lisa Bender in Ward 10 winning in the first round of ranked-choice voting. Cam Gordon, the longtime representative for Ward 2 and one of the more prominent Green Party officials in the country, also won re-election in an unopposed race. 

Other election winners include:

  • Ward 1 - Kevin Reich
  • Ward 6 - Abdi Warsame
  • Ward 9 - Alondra Cano
  • Ward 11 - Jeremy Schroeder
  • Ward 12 - Andrew Johnson
  • Ward 13 - Linea Palmisano

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