The Minneapolis DFL held a virtual caucus in early June, and 4,800 delegates citywide cast votes online.
In Ward 1, 78% of the delegates chose newcomer Elliott Payne over incumbent City Council Member Kevin Reich. Payne was one of seven council candidates who received the party’s endorsement.
In Ward 3, where incumbent Council Member Steve Fletcher is up against Michael Rainville and Mervin Moorhead, no candidate was endorsed. Other wards where no endorsement was made are 2, 5, 6, 10 and 11.
While DFL leaders claimed delegate turnout was double that of the last election year in 2017, others, during the candidate forums, alluded to questions about fairness of the process.
Ranked choice voting was used, which organizers said took less than 10 minutes to complete and allowed delegates to participate without risking exposure to COVID-19. They were permitted to vote as often as they wanted during the time voting was open, but only their last vote counted.
Reich, who has served on the City Council for 12 years, said he fully intends to pursue the office again, without the party’s blessing. Of the online caucus, he said, “some people were able to adjust, others weren’t.” He said the upcoming November election is one of the most important Minneapolis has had in years. “Recovery, racial justice, charter options are all issues that will be decided by the ballot.”
If he is elected in November, Payne, a Minneapolis city contractor, will be the first Black council member to represent the people of Ward 1 at City Hall.
DFLers were expected to make their endorsements for mayor, Park Board and the Board of Estimate and Taxation in voting that took place after this edition was printed.