Nine Things We Learned Last Tuesday

Some highlights from the city elections that time (and voters) forgot

 

9. The Greens and local third-party politics: Not dead, not particularly well.

In 2001, the Green Party elected two candidates to the Minneapolis City Council, thus ending the DFL monopoly at City Hall and generating plenty of giddy speculation about the improved local prospects of third-party movements. The DFL undertook to quash the Green specter, and one measure of their success lies in the fact that both incumbent Greens on the City Council this year were running against other incumbents, thanks to redistricting. Both Greens lost their bids for reelection. Natalie Johnson Lee--who had shocked the city's political establishment by upsetting former City Council president Jackie Cherryhomes in 2001--was soundly trounced in the Fifth, and party stalwart Dean Zimmermann--running under the cloud of a federal corruption probe--lost by a 46-vote margin in the Sixth.

Still, Minneapolis voters did give the Greens two consolation prizes. In a hotly contested park board race, incumbent at-large member Annie Young narrowly retained her position. And in the biggest surprise of the night, Cam Gordon--a founding member of the Minnesota Greens--was elected to represent the Second Ward on the City Council. --Mike Mosedale

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