Betsy Hodges files to run for mayor as she and Gary Schiff await Rybak's decision
Will Hodges (left) or Schiff (right) be Minneapolis' next mayor? It depends, in part, on R.T.
City Council Member Betsy Hodges recently filed the paperwork necessary to run for mayor next year.
But will she actually follow through with it? Hodges says it depends on whether R.T. Rybak decides to seek a fourth term.
In comments made to the Southwest Journal, Hodges said, "If the mayor runs again, I will support him."
Her remarks contrast with what Schiff said last month. Back then, in a profile of Schiff, the Journal's Nick Halter reported: "Schiff said his decision won't be affected by Rybak's."
But in a recent Star Tribune report indicates Schiff may have flip-flopped since then. From the Strib:
Mayor R.T. Rybak has previously said he will decide before January 1 whether to seek a fourth term. Schiff acknowledged [November 23] that Rybak "remains very popular" and it would be difficult to win if he is competing against him. Schiff said Rybak's decision to seek a fourth term would be a factor in whether Schiff throws his hat in the ring.
"If he (Rybak) runs I will have to take it into consideration," Schiff said.
Rybak, meanwhile, says he'll announce his decision by January 1. For the second time in four years, he's thought to be a candidate for a gig in the Obama administration.
In recent comments made to the Strib, Rybak downplayed his D.C. prospects, but stopped short of saying he wouldn't relocate if asked.
"Nothing's come in," Rybak said. "But don't expect me to say, 'Oh gee, I got a call today and I'm thinking about it.'"
If Schiff does end up running against Rybak, you can bet all the work Rybak did to get a Vikings stadium deal done will emerge as a major campaign issue. From our May blog post about the city council's final approval of the stadium:
Council Member Gary Schiff said "this is a sad day for Minneapolis taxpayers" and called the half-billion dollar subsidy from the state and city "the largest act of corporate welfare ever approved in the state of Minnesota." He later urged Minneapolis voters to hold their elected officials accountable for approving the stadium plan.
Despite her support for Rybak, Hodges joined Schiff in voting against the stadium.
For what it's worth, on the level of the city council races, Halter reports that it doesn't look like the stadium will emerge as a central issue:
I'm discovering that while many Mpls City Council challengers oppose the Vikings stadium deal, they aren't making it a central issue.
-- Nick Halter (@NHalterJournals) November 26, 2012
Will that also be the case in the mayoral race? To answer that, we have to know who's running first.
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