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Minneapolis, St. Paul & Metro Area

2021 Election Hot Takes


Incumbent leadership is upheld in the Twin Cities as Mayors for St. Paul and Minneapolis were re-elected following the most tumultuous, politically charged election cycle since….2020.


Minneapolis City Council swings more conservative, overall, despite voters electing the first Democratic Socialist and Black woman – Robin Wonsley-Worlobah - and a majority of people of color. The Mayor of Minneapolis gained more executive authority over all City departments, despite a robust campaign targeting the Minneapolis Police Department, and on the heels of a high vacancy rate in department leadership positions. Additionally, Minneapolis votes to keep the Minneapolis Police Department, despite the police murder of George Floyd, which sparked a global movement for racial justice and widespread calls for overhauls in policing and public safety. 


It is clear that Twin Cities voters are united in the need for citywide regulations on rent increases, with about 53% affirmative votes in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Breakdown

Five Minneapolis City Council incumbents were unseated this year; two did not seek reelection. In all, seven new council members have been elected. 


Minneapolis Wards with a more progressive turnover include: Ward 1 (Elliott Payne), Ward 2 (Robin Wonsley-Worlobah), and Ward 9 (Jason Chavez - south).


Wards that remain politically aligned progressive: Ward 5 (Jeremiah Ellison, incumbent – North) and Ward 10 (Aisha Chughtai - Uptown).


Wards with a more conservative turnover include: Ward 3 (Michael Rainville), Ward 4 (LaTrisha Vetaw), and Ward 11 (Emily Koski).

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J. Deebaa Sirdar

Guest Editor, Black Votes Matter MN

Wards where, mostly moderate to conservative, incumbents won reelection: Ward 6 (Jamal Osman – south and U of M/Cedar-Riverside), Ward 7 (Lisa Goodman – west and downtown west), Ward 8 (Andrea Jenkins – south central), Ward 12 (Andrew Johnson - SE corner) and Ward 13 (Linea Palmisano – SW corner).


In St. Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter is re-elected with 36,426, votes, or about 62% of the electorate. While he faced seven challengers and one write-in candidate, his closest competitor, Dino Guerin, was a distant second choice with 7,454 votes, or about 13% of the electorate. 


Congratulations to all winners in this year’s elections across Minnesota’s municipalities and districts. With more and more Black, Indigenous and people of color seeking less popular but still important public offices, congratulations to the following winners:


  • Alicia D Smith, newly elected as the only Black commissioner out of nine open seats, as an at-large winner for the Minneapolis Park Board. All other eight commissioners elected appear to be white – in a city made up of 40% Indigenous and people of color


  • Samantha “Sam” Pree-Stinson, the first Black Chicana American and veteran, elected to the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation


  • St. Paul School Board incumbents Jim Vue and Jeanelle “Jeannie” Foster, and newcomer Halla Henderson who is the first Eritrean American elected to office in Minnesota


  • Rachel Banks Kupcho and Eric Carter who, along with the incumbent, won the three open seats in an uncontested race for Richfield School Board - where the majority of students are people of color 

  • Mounds View’s newly elected Yolanda Magee who won, one of the three open school board seats, topping both of the two reelected incumbents, with the most votes at 4,747 or about 24%


  • Gerard Balan and Heidi Garrido, newcomers, who won the two open Hopkins City Council seats, garnering more votes than incumbent Kristi Halverson


  • Jason Ross, one of three, elected to Hopkins School Board


To view certified election results referenced in this article, visit


NOVEMBER 5, 2024



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