Hodges Gets Big Endorsement as Campaign Collapses

MINNEAPOLIS – Incumbent Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is now able to count Lt. Gov. Tina Smith among her endorsements, though that might not count for much since her campaign staff quit recently.

The embattled Mayor Hodges released the endorsement from Minnesota’s 48th lieutenant governor on Monday evening via her campaign’s Facebook page.

“In her years of service, and as Mayor, Betsy has consistently fought for every resident of this great city, and she has never given up on the value of building a Minneapolis that works for everyone,” Smith wrote. “We need talented, committed leaders like Mayor Hodges, standing up against hatred and bigotry, and fighting for a safe city and an inclusive, growing economy that creates opportunity for all Minneapolis residents.”

Besides Smith, Hodges’ endorsements include the Service Employees International Union, Sen. Al Franken, and LGBT advocacy group OutFront Minnesota.

That support does not mean much in the face of six of her senior campaign staffers leaving en masse, according to reports from City Pages. The campaign’s finances are running low due to issues fundraising, and staff members seem to have an issue with Hodges’ staff in city government interfering with the campaign’s strategy.

Fundraising reports from the mayor’s race published in early August showed Hodges in third place with total fundraising of $204,138. Former head of the Hennepin Theatre Trust Tom Hoch had the highest totals between $227,172 fundraised and a personal loan he made to his campaign of $226,000. Minneapolis City Council Member Frey also topped Hodges by way of a massive $359,878 raised through the end of July.

A total of 12 candidates met the filing deadline to run for mayor of Minneapolis, including Hoch, Frey, State Rep. Raymond Dehn, Black Lives Matter activist Nekima Levy-Pounds, and filmmaker Aswar Rahman.

Anders Koskinen