MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After a night of tallying the votes, and with 100 percent of precincts reporting, St. Paul has elected its first African-American mayor.
Former City Council Member Melvin Carter will be the mayor of Minnesota’s capital city after receiving 50.89 percent of votes in the first-choice ballot.
“I’m just very honored, I’m incredibly humbled. This is a city I love dearly. I grew up in our rec centers,” Carter said.
Carter reflected on being the first African-American mayor of the city.
“Being able to look at that office, look at that space and see someone who reflects the diversity of this whole city is something that is critical to building the city for the future, building the city that works for everybody,” he said.
St. Paul allows voters to rank six choices for mayor and counts all the ballots by hand, but wasn’t expecting to name a winner so soon after polls closed.
The race was left open by current Mayor Chris Coleman, who is serving his third term. Coleman announced he wouldn’t seek re-election, and would instead run for governor in 2018. He’s been the mayor of St. Paul since 2006.
Carter’s name was thrust into controversy during the campaign after a contentious mailer from the St. Paul Police Federation accused him of not doing enough to secure two handguns that were stolen from his house this summer. The mailer drew widespread condemnation from all candidates at a debate last week. Many of the candidates, and Mayor Coleman, called on union head Dave Titus to resign.
The DFL declined to endorse a candidate in the race for St. Paul mayor.
You can see the full results for all elections in St. Paul on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.