Hodges in Trouble as Fist Fights and No Endorsement at DFL Convention Make Headlines

DFL Convention signals trouble for embattled mayor, as State Rep’s. spouse engages in a fist fight with supporter.

Preya Samsundar/Alpha News

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis DFL convention, held Saturday indicates a tough road to reelection for current Mayor Betsy Hodges.

The convention, with more than 1,200 delegates, lasted 12 hours, and did not endorse a candidate. Delegates went through one round of balloting for Minneapolis Mayor, in which Hodges came in third place with 24.2 percent, behind State Rep. Raymond Dehn (D-Minneapolis) who had 32.4 percent, and Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey who came in with 27.8 percent of the delegates.

“We’re thrilled with our performance at the convention today,” Tom Hoch, the former CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust said in a released statement. “This just goes to show that our message of real-world experience and problem solving echoes throughout the city.” Hoch received 10.6 percent of the vote totals.

“We in Minneapolis will bridge our divides,” Frey wrote in a Facebook post. “No resident left out, no neighborhood forgotten. The future is ours together.”

Hodges was featured in a New York Times article published Monday morning that claimed mayors like Hodges who were unpopular in their cities, attack President Trump to regain favor with the public. The piece, along with Hodges performance Saturday only shows the trouble her re-election campaign is in.

Meanwhile, the convention was filled with myriad of questionable events.

The chair of the convention made a joke about “lynching” which was scrutinized by those who attended the event. Mike Griffin tweeted, “Aaaand I’m done. A Lynching joke should NEVER be said by white people. His apology was very pathetic.”

Griffin later tweeted that the convention tried to apologize saying he was from a different generation and meant no harm.

A fist fight also broke out between Ahmed Hirsi, the cultural husband of Minneapolis Rep. Ilhan Omar and Ali Boss according to Faiza Mahamud of the Star Tribune.

Alpha News spoke with one witness who asked to remain anonymous. The witness claims Ali Boss is a supporter of Gurhan, a candidate for park board, and Hirsi and Omar are supporters of AK Hassan who is contending for the same park board seat. The witness told Alpha News that Hirsi approached Boss and after exchanging words and asked “why are you dividing the [Somali] community.” Boss responded by stating “you and your wife have divided the Somali community.” At the mention of Omar’s name, Hirsi allegedly jumped for Boss, who in return, slapped Hirsi. No one was injured.

This is not the first time a fight has surrounded the Omar/Hirsi family. In 2014, Omar was attacked by a group of men and women at the Brian Coyle Center during DFL caucuses. She sustained a concussion.  

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.