Voters shook up the Minneapolis City Council in Tuesday’s elections, adding seven new members out of a possible 13.
Among the seven departing members were four incumbents who supported Charter Amendment No. 2, an initiative proposing the abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department that was ultimately rejected by the citizens of Minneapolis.
Those incumbents were Cam Gordon, Steve Fletcher, Phillipe Cunningham, and Jeremy Schroeder. Of the four, Rep. Ilhan Omar supported the reelection of Fletcher, Cunningham, and Schroeder. All three lost to challengers who rejected Amendment No. 2.
Representing Ward 2 since 2006, Gordon was eliminated in the third round of voting tabulation after finishing behind Robin Wonsley Worlobah and Yusra Arab in first-choice votes. Worlobah, a Democratic Socialist, beat Arab by a razor-thin 19 votes, or 42.6% to 42.4%.
In Ward 3, Fletcher was defeated by Michael Rainville after two rounds of tabulation. The margin of Rainville’s victory surpassed that of his first-round lead over Fletcher. In describing his position on public safety, Rainville said he didn’t agree with the abolition of the MPD.
“I believe that we need BOTH police AND programs like the co-responder program that was successfully piloted in the 5th Precinct. Hennepin County could and should be a strong partner in this effort,” he wrote on his campaign website.
The results in Ward 4 weren’t close, with LaTrisha Vetaw of the Minneapolis Park Board blowing out the incumbent Cunningham by a 60.6% to 30.3% margin. Because Vetaw obtained more than 50% of first-choice votes, further rounds of tabulation weren’t necessary.
Vetaw, a resident of north Minneapolis, did not support abolishment of the Minneapolis Police Department, unlike Cunningham. Despite calling for “fundamental reform” to the department, she has acknowledged that dispensing with them “discounts the experience of victims of gun violence, domestic abuse, and other crime.”
Then in Ward 11, Emily Koski, another challenger who did not support Charter Amendment No. 2, soundly defeated the incumbent Schroeder by 3,740 votes. As in Ward 4, the contest was over after the first round.
Of the three others who will no longer be on the council, two chose not to run — Lisa Bender and Alondra Cano — while longtime member Kevin Reich was defeated by Elliot Payne, a challenger from his left.
Jeremiah Ellison and Andrew Johnson both won reelection despite supporting the charter amendment. Two new members, Aisha Chughtai and Jason Chavez, also expressed support for the proposal.