MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — City Council member Betsy Hodges culminated her quasi-acceptance speech for Minneapolis mayor Wednesday night with a simple statement in front of her supporters at 612 Brew, including the current Mayor R.T. Rybak.
“It’s a big dream Minneapolis, let’s go live the dream,” she said.
Hodges hasn’t officially won as results are still being tabulated, but it’s extremely unlikely she doesn’t come out on top of a 35-candidate pool in the city’s ranked-choice voting system.
None of the 35 candidates got 39,708 votes — or above 50 percent of the total votes cast in the race. Hodges emerged with 37 percent of the vote on election night, and Mark Andrew came in second with 25 percent.
Because it was a ranked-choice election, each voter was asked to cast a ballot for their first, second and third choice candidates.
The second choice votes were counted Wednesday at Minneapolis City Hall. After 11 rounds of tabulation, nine registered candidates had been dropped. But since 26 candidates are still technically in the race, tabulation will likely continue into Thursday.
With Hodges the all but certain winner, the election was a stinging defeat for the DFL establishment, as well as city and municipal unions who nearly all lined up to support Andrew, the former Hennepin County commissioner.
Andrew conceded to Hodges in a Facebook message to his followers Wednesday night, saying he had called Hodges to congratulate her.
“We ran an incredible campaign but in the end, we just couldn’t shake her,” Andrew wrote in the message. “Betsy was tenacious, determined and she peaked at the right time. These assets will serve her well as she transitions into her new role as leader of our City.”
Hodges has been an ally of three-term Rybak, who didn’t seek re-election and declined to endorse any of the candidates. She had the backing of the Service Employees International Union and the pro-abortion rights EMILY’s List, which helped her turn out votes in a race that saw plenty of debates but relatively little broadcast advertising.
Rybak’s staff has begun transition meetings to ease the handover to the new mayor in January.
This is the second mayoral race in which Minneapolis has used ranked-choice voting, but a bigger test of the system than Rybak’s walkover win in 2009.
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Here is the full list of first-round results from the Minneapolis elections:
City Council Ward 1: Kevin Reich
City Council Ward 2: Cam Gordon
City Council Ward 3: Jacob Frey
City Council Ward 4: Barbara Johnson
City Council Ward 6: Abdi Warsame
City Council Ward 7: Lisa Goodman
City Council Ward 8: Elizabeth Glidden
City Council Ward 10: Lisa Bender
City Council Ward 11: John Quincy
City Council Ward 12: Andrew Johnson
Park and Recreation Board District 1: Liz Wielinski
Park and Recreation Board District 3: Scott Vreeland
Park and Recreation Board District 4: Anita Tabb
Park and Recreation Board District 5: Steffanie Musich
City question 1: Yes
City question 2: Yes
More information on these and other races is available here.