Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the coming weeks and months you will hear more about one of the most unusual elections in Minnesota history — the November 2013 Minneapolis mayor’s race.
It’s going to be different because the person who comes in first may not be the winner in the end. Come election time, you don’t ever hear politicians say I want to be your second or third choice. But that is exactly what you will hear in the upcoming Minneapolis mayor’s race.
The November 2013 election will mark the first major test of ranked-choice voting in Minnesota — where voters not only cast ballots for their first choice but their second and third. If no candidate gets 50 percent when the votes are counted, the last place candidate is eliminated and their second and third place votes are reassigned.
That reassigning continues until someone gets to 50 percent. So the candidate who comes in first on the first ballot may not be the winner in the end — the winner may be that candidate who got the most second and even third place votes.
With at least eight candidates running for mayor that will make for some unusual campaign strategies.
Political analysts Larry Jacobs appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“All the candidates are looking at Oakland 2010 where the second-place candidate in that first running who lost almost 80 percent of the precincts won because she did very, very well among those second- and third-place votes,” he said.
Whoever emerges from this most unusual election is likely to be a major news maker in Minnesota for years. In the last 33 years, the city has had only three Mayors — the current Mayor R.T. Rybak has been in office since 2002.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.