By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Election day is quickly approaching and more than a dozen candidates have announced campaigns for mayor of Minneapolis.

WCCO invited each candidate to answer five questions and submit their answers about their qualifications for the position, as well as stances on the ballot questions. Below are the candidate’s video responses, as well as excerpts from their statements.

Nate “Honey Badger” Atkins

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“I think my experience working as a manager, managing teams of people, anywhere from 12 to 25 people, has kind of developed me into a natural leader.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I do support that because I believe that there is a need for greater checks and balances between the power of both the mayor and the city council. I think as it currently stands right now, the city council has too much power, which leaves the mayor with very little authority and very little opportunity to push forward any changes or act as a check on their power.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“I’m largely ambivalent on this, although I do lean ‘no’ on it, and the reason why I lean no is because I don’t know if it’s been completely thought out in terms of how it’s going to be implemented. Some of the language is a little too vague for me, I’d prefer a lot more specifics on what specific role the police will have and also what they won’t have . . . in terms of police reform, my biggest issue is that this amendment, and this ballot question, doesn’t do anything to address the issues related to qualified immunity, ending civil asset forfeiture, ending no-knock raids, demilitarizing the police and decriminalizing drug use and possession.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“With a lot of the language being vague, I don’t know if I can properly comment on what I would do as mayor if that’s implemented. If it’s not implemented, I’m going to push for probably the biggest reform, that I would think is requiring police to carry professional liability insurance as a condition of employment.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“I think the greatest thing about the city of Minneapolis is really the people. We have such a diverse group, such a diverse city, not just in terms of like people in terms of like our racial makeup or our ethnic makeup, but also just in diversity of thought that we have.”

 

AJ Awed

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“I think that my mediation experience and my ADR background is exactly what the city of Minneapolis needs. We need a mayor that can really bring people together.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“Yes I support question one on the ballot. And the reason why is because all of our executive department heads and all of our city leaders, past mayors, understand the importance of doing exactly what all major cities like the city of St. Paul does, which is have a strong mayor and have a legislative council.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“No I do not support question two on the ballot. And the reason why I do not support it it is because we need to have communities of color leading on this transformative moment. The civil rights moment demands it and the global racial reckoning triggered in the city of Minneapolis requires it.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“If question two passes, I would be the mayor that would work hard to ensure that we would have an adequate force in the city of Minneapolis . . . if it does not pass, I would be the mayor advocating and championing the citizen’s assembly, where we can have a second bite at the apple.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“The city of Minneapolis has great diversity, it has great arts, and the next mayor has to be able to credibly champion that diversity, be able to grow the tourism in the city of Minneapolis and also be as welcoming as possible to everyone.”

 

Clint Conner

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“The people who know me best know that I am uniquely qualified to handle this job. I’ve got the experience, skills, and passion to lead Minneapolis to a better day.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I will vote yes on ballot question one because it will bring streamlined government and improved accountability.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“Regarding ballot question two, I’m against it for four reasons: one there is no plan. Number two, it’s dangerously vague . . . thirdly, it takes responsibility from the mayor, and gives it to 14 bosses . . . fourthly it would remove Chief Arradondo.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“Regardless of how ballot question two comes down, we need our good police. . . do we need reform? Absolutely. I’ve got a two-pronged approach. First we need to reset the narrative about our good police . . . and at the same time, I’ve been an investigator for high profile litigation for 17 years, and I want to investigate what is going on in this police department, figure out how many officers are problems, where they are in the department, and what they’ve been doing to hold us back from a bias-free environment.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“I love this city. And it’s main strength is its people . . . on top of that, we have world-class museums, arts scene, music, fantastic parks, we have all the sports you want to see. But it’s the people, people’s willingness to volunteer and help that drives this city.”

 

Jacob Frey

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“Through two years of unprecedented progress and these last two of unprecedented challenge, I’ve told the truth. We’ve led with integrity and principle, we’ve charted an honest and progressive path forward for our entire city.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I support question number one on this year’s ballot because we need clarity in government . . . right now we do not have clarity at all. We do not have the form of government that most every other mid-size and large city has throughout the entire country, be it New York City, Chicago, St. Paul, or Duluth.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“I oppose question two on this November’s ballot . . . I support a comprehensive strategy for public safety. I support safety beyond policing because not every 911 call requires a response from an officer with a gun . . . Now importantly, we don’t need a charter amendment to do those things.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“I abide by the will of the voters. If it passes, we will do everything possible to make it work. Now, regardless of whether question two passes, I think we need to chart an honest and clear path forward with a united approach.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“We have one of the healthiest cities in the entire country, we’ve got an extraordinary tree canopy, we’ve got an amazing business sector and we have people from a thousand different backgrounds that really believe in our commonality and our vitality. And simultaneously we have some of the greatest disparities of any city in the entire county. There is so much work to do.”

 

Mark Globus

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“Minneapolis is an amazingly progressive city and a city that I love. I have experience in the business sector and as an attorney. I am the only candidate in the race who actually builds businesses. Minneapolis needs a common-sense voice again. I am that candidate.”‘

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I am voting yes on ballot question number one: the government restructure question. Frankly, Minneapolis needs a strong mayor, not necessarily a strong mayor system. However the format of an executive mayor and a legislative city council is most effective as it mirrors what we have at both the state and federal levels.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“I am voting no on ballot question number two: the department of public safety. I understand where all sides are coming from on this issue, we all want a safe city and a police department that is accountable. It would be a mistake however, to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new untested department of public safety.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“If ballot question number two passes forming a new department of public safety, this is not preferred, but is still workable. The most important element is to keep the funds for a new department of public safety from fracturing into too many competing departments.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“Minneapolis is one of the most beautiful and desired cities in all of America. It’s great downtown, uptown and arts community make our city extremely liveable . . . Our city is a mosaic of different people and different cultures, and that is one of our greatest strengths in Minneapolis.”

 

Kate Knuth

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“I’m a mom, I’m a climate strategist, I’m a former state representative, and I’m a small business owner. I would bring to the office of mayor of Minneapolis both a commitment to work alongside and with Minneapolis residents on the significant changes we need to make together, and the skill, experience, and relationships, of having led effectively in state government, at the University of Minnesota, and at city hall.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I don’t support charter amendment one because I’m concerned about the impacts it has on the ability to build trust across our city that is so essential for realizing a vision of Minneapolis that is truly a multiracial democracy and works for every person living in it.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“I support charter amendment two because I think it is the path forward that will give us the best shot of doing that work together on building a safer Minneapolis for everyone.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“If charter amendment two – the public safety charter amendment – passes, as I hope it does, I am ready to dig in with the Minneapolis city council, with city staff, and really importantly with residents, to build a public safety system that works more effectively to keep every person in our city safe.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“What I love most about the people who live here, the people who call Minneapolis home. This city is full of connectors, of builders, of artists, of entrepreneurs, of civic leaders, who are digging in to do the work of making our neighborhoods, our community, or city the kind of place that so many people want to live and so many people want to build businesses.”

 

Mike Winter

 

What about your experience makes you the best candidate to be elected mayor of Minneapolis?

“Number one, I’m a union steward for the teamsters local 792. And what a steward does is resolve conflicts between labor and management. And I’ve been doing that for five years. Also, I’ve lived in this city of Minneapolis most of my life and I know it like the back of my hand. And lastly, I’m completely bi, tri, and quad-partisan. I am not owned by the DFL or the Republicans.”

Do you support a yes vote on ballot question number one? Why or why not?

“I am a firm yes on question number one and here’s why. Right now in Minneapolis, city hall is disfunction junction . . . Minneapolis needs one clear person in charge.”

Do you support a yes vote on question number two, the public safety ballot question? Why or why not?

“I am a firm no on question number two. We do not need to get rid of the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a Public Safety Department, of which I have seen no plan. You know what, nobody has. And they only have 30 days to put this plan into place. It’s insane. No, we’ll just keep the Minneapolis Police Department, and we’ll keep reforming them.”

If ballot question two on a change to Minneapolis policing passes, what is your plan as mayor? If it fails, what is your plan?

“On question number two, if it’s a yes, as mayor regardless of my opinion, I will help put together with the city council the very best public safety department for Minneapolis . . . if it does not pass, which I hope, I will continue to work with Chief Arradondo on reforms.”

What makes the city of Minneapolis an attractive place to live today, and what would you do as its mayor to make it even greater for all of its citizens and visitors?

“Minneapolis is a great place to live, and I’ll tell you why. Number one it’s the people. There is so much diversity in Minneapolis. I went to Minneapolis Roosevelt myself, class of 93, and it was a great, great experience for me. What’s also great about Minneapolis are the parks and the lakes. Minneapolis is the envy of every other major city in America, in my opinion.”

 

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Mayoral candidates Troy Benjegerdes, Bob “Again” Carney Jr., Christopher David, Marcus Harcus, Paul E. Johnson, Doug Nelson, Sheila Nezhad, and Laverne Turner did not respond to WCCO’s video request.

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