Nekima Levy-Pounds, Raeisha Williams won't seek DFL endorsement

Two Minneapolis political candidates announced Tuesday they will no longer be seeking the DFL endorsement for their upcoming political races.

Mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds and 5th Ward City Council candidate Raeisha Williams made the announcement at a joint press conference outside City Hall on Tuesday morning.

The candidates say the DFL endorsement process limits the political power of people of color, immigrants and indigenous populations. They add that the DFL caucus and convention can be confusing and unwelcoming to newcomers, immigrants and young people.

“The DFL endorsement process reinforces the notion of political exclusivity and severely limits the possibility of viable candidates of color from competing for office during November elections,” Levy-Pounds said in a statement. “In the advent of ranked-choice voting, it makes little sense to keep in place an antiquated process that limits voter choices and keeps power in the hands of the few.”

“My decision about the endorsement reflects my dissatisfaction with the DFL process, where only the votes of a few matter,” Williams said on Twitter following the press conference.

Both Levy-Pounds and Williams say they are instead seeking The People’s Endorsement, which they say is a “campaign to amplify and uplift the voices of all Minneapolis residents.”

Levy-Pounds says no matter what, she is going all the way in November. 

Without Levy-Pounds, there are still four other mayoral candidates seeking the DFL endorsement: Betsy Hodges, Jacob Frey, Tom Hoch and Ray Dehn. The DFL caucuses are on Tuesday and the DFL convention is scheduled for June.