MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It appears Democrats in Minneapolis have renewed political energy, even after so many defeats in the November election.
However, enthusiasm over the mayoral and city council races in Minneapolis turned potentially dangerous in the 3rrd precinct Tuesday night.
The city-wide caucuses saw very strong turnout.
In Ward 6, so many people tried to pack into the Brian Coyle Center that the fire department was called.
The Minneapolis Fire Department confirmed it was dispatched to the scene due to crowds and heat inside the gym. There were multiple medical calls for people fainting.
“So, we normally do it inside the gym, but the gym can hold only so many. The capacity for the gym is 450 people, and we have, I believe, twice as many people as that,” Ayub Farah said. “So for safety reasons the fire department came and told everybody to evacuate. And they suggested that we do it in the soccer field, which is much bigger.”
“The bright side to it being out here is it shows people are really engaged in their local politics, and what’s going. The civic engagement going on is really high in this neighborhood. And we’re just out here practicing democracy,” Mubashir Jeilani said.
Crews moved people to a soccer field outside of the center. Then, they were counted for attendance.
“Now that people are separated we will go through and count the number of supporters in each group,” an organizer said.
As is done in a caucus, Democrats supported their candidates for city offices by standing together in groups.
WCCO reached out to the Minneapolis DFL late Tuesday night to ask about the high turnout in Ward 6. They said they are not commenting on individual caucuses until the votes are released, but did say that more than 3,600 people pre-registered, city-wide.
WCCO cameras were at other wards as well Tuesday, and the crowds were more what organizers expected to see.
Tuesday’s caucus was all about selecting delegates for the DFL convention in July, where delegates will choose who to nominate for Minneapolis mayor and city council.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who is one of the candidates in this process, released this statement on the caucus turnout.
“I’m thankful for the outpouring of support. It’s heartening, in the time of Trump, to see so many committed, energized progressives come out to stand up for their neighbors and work to build a more equitable and welcoming city,” Hodges’ statement said.
There are a total of nine candidates right now in the race for Mayor of Minneapolis.