TruthToTell Oct 31: ST. PAUL ELECTIONS: Wards 5 & 6 This Week - VOTE!

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November 8th approaches and the moment of reckoning for candidates will face the city’s the new voter-approved Ranked Choice Voting system. With no primary to whittle the fields to two per race, multiple candidates will vie in a single November general election. Voters may mark their first, second, third and fourth choices until one candidate attains a majority (or substantial plurality) in each of the council races ONLY. Meanwhile, as tradition dictates, the top four vote-getters out of ten candidates will win seats on the school board. (See Wards 5 and 6 ranked-choice sample ballot.) 

TruthToTell is devoting four successive weeks to St. Paul’s elections – with the unabashed goal of getting voters to stop giving their local government(s) election the air and get themselves to the polls November 8th. The unacceptably common 15%-35% turnouts must give way to at least half the eligible electorate showing up to pick their cities’ leadership – in St. Paul, yes, but in several suburban elections as well. We’ve now presented candidates from St. Paul Wards TwoThree and One. This week, we present candidates in the Ward 5 and Ward 6 races. The remaining races have nominal or no opposition for the incumbents. November 7th, the day before the election, Jeanne Massey of FairVote/Minnesota will be on hand to explain the Ranked Choice Voting process, which should no longer require an hour’s worth of discussion.

Two candidates are competing in each of the two wards – 5 & 6. While the DFLGreen and Libertarian parties have endorsed in most city races, all city offices are NONPARTISAN, so no party ID will be seen next to a candidate’s name. Key issues in the North End’s Ward 5 and the Upper East Side’s Ward 6 is who can best represent the interests of increasingly diverse constituencies. It’s likely safe to say that economic development and housing issues in this lingering recession are probably the key issues in these two wards, along with infrastructure problems.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI engage these candidates in conversation about why they should hold their respective offices.


Ward 5:

LEE HELGEN - Incumbent

AMY BRENDMOEN - Challenger; Chamber of Commerce Endorsed



Ward 6:

DAN BOSTROM - Incumbent; DFL Endorsed

BEE KEVIN XIONG - Challenger; Green Party Endorsed