Minneapolis DFL Vice Chair Mike Norton submitted his resignation this week, citing the party’s “highly problematic and exclusionary” endorsement process.
Norton made headlines earlier this year when he suggested that Ken Martin, chair of the state party, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz are “assholes.”
His comments came in response to Martin’s criticism of Minneapolis DFL Chair Briana Rose Lee, who celebrated the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s death by calling it “his one good deed for the world.”
“So, rather than talk about how we should focus on debating policy and not celebrating Reagan’s death, the state chair threw Briana under the f–ing bus to get a quote in the paper,” Norton said in response to Martin.
Norton is also a vocal critic of Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and his “conservative majority on the council.”
“We’ve given up on Frey enacting significant police reforms, because that motherf–r can’t even manage potholes,” he wrote in one tweet.
Norton began his resignation letter by acknowledging that his “tendency to be outspoken has been problematic.”
But most of his letter focused on this spring’s rocky convention season for City Council races, which included a brawl, a restraining order, a canceled convention, and “irregularities” in delegate signups.
“Due to the complex and cumbersome caucus and convention process, fewer than 1% of voters tend to be willing to waste a springtime Saturday sitting in a school auditorium to participate in an antiquated endorsement process,” he wrote in a resignation letter to Lee.
“This generally leads to incumbents and insiders winning endorsements and means that in a one-party town like Minneapolis that only a handful of people are deciding which candidates are considered viable out of the gate,” Norton said.
He also accused the state party of being “unwilling or unable to support adequate safeguards against fraud within the process they require the local party unit to follow.”
“Ward 5, 6, and 10 all displayed significant delegate irregularities and the state DFL’s response appeared to be indifference,” he wrote. “It’s frustrating and disappointing that the Minnesota DFL only seems to worry about Minneapolis when they need high turnout for state and federal elections.”
Norton previously ran for City Council in 2021 in Ward 13 but lost to incumbent Linea Palmisano.
Martin did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Norton concluded his letter: “P.S. I still think Ken did you wrong and stand by what I said afterward.”