Wind power attorney becomes first Republican to enter mayoral race

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January 11, 2013
By: Nick Halter
Cam Winton
Nick Halter
Fulton resident and energy corporation attorney Cam Winton has begun raising funds for a run to become the next mayor of Minneapolis.

Fulton resident and energy corporation attorney Cam Winton has begun raising funds for a run to become the next mayor of Minneapolis.

Winton, 34, was an executive with Minnesota-based Outland Energy Services until Duke Energy Corporation purchased the company in November. All 120 employees, Winton said, were given job offers at Duke. Winton is now senior counsel for Duke.

Outland Energy Services operated wind turbines for energy companies across the country, including Xcel Energy, Winton said. 

He and his wife, Emily Pryor Winton, have lived in Fulton for about five years and have two young children. 

Winton is a gay marriage supporter who co-hosted a fundraiser to raise money to defeat the marriage amendment last fall. 

“Yeah, I am a Republican and I am happy to speak to people about the principles of private enterprise and personal responsibility that lead me to be a Republican,” he said. “At the same time I work in the wind power industry and support marriage equality.” 

Winton said that as mayor, he would prioritize essential services — police and fire, road maintenance and other basic infrastructure.

“Beyond that, we need to make hard decisions about what we can afford as a city,” Winton said.

Winton and Ward 13 City Council Member Betsy Hodges exchanged a series of letters to the editor in the Southwest Journal back in 2010, arguing about the city budget.

Winton said he wants all children to have the same opportunities he had, and said he wants to close the achievement gap.

Minneapolis city elections are non-partisan, but a Republican candidate hasn’t been elected mayor since 1957, when Kenneth Peterson won office.

Winton said he is confident he can raise money to convey his message.

The 2013 election will be the first in 20 years without an incumbent. Winton said that an open seat plus ranked choice voting might allow for a Republican to be elected.

“Ranked choice voting creates a lot of interesting possibilities,” he said.