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Talking Points: A Crowded (And Unique) Mpls. Mayor Race

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With 35 candidates, the Mayor’s race in Minneapolis is so crowded that candidates have complained about not being invited to candidate forums and being ignored by the news media.

One Mayoral candidate’s campaign ad, however, has gotten a lot of attention.

Jeffrey Alan Wagner’s campaign commercial features himself in very little clothing promising, among other things, to not go to strip clubs if he is elected Mayor.

In a relatively short time, the ad has gotten more than 300,000 hits on YouTube.

Wagner’s ad is not the only unconventional aspect of the Mayor’s race. Because of ranked choice voting, the candidate who gets the most second place votes may come in first.

Less than two months until the election, a Star Tribune poll released Sunday found that there is no clear front runner. Adding to the uncertainty is that this is a ranked choice election meaning voters will be asked to not just record their 1st choice for Mayor, but their second and third choice as well.

So, in a field that features a candidate named Captain Jack Sparrow — as well as the viral video hit from Jeffrey Allen Wagner — it’s possible that an unknown could come out on top.

Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“It’s very clear that Minneapolis voters have very little idea who these candidates are and are really unable to differentiate them very well. We are at a very critical moment, only six weeks until Election Day. … Not clear who is going to win with the real possibility we could get someone walking out of a lake.”

It’s possible whoever does win will be around for some time. Minneapolis has had only three mayors in the last 33 years. The current Mayor R.T. Rybak, who chose not to run for re-election, was elected in 2001.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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