Linea Palmisano wins Ward 13 race

Credit: Michelle Bruch

Linea Palmisano’s first order of business as Council Member-elect: she joined Twitter.

“Thank you to the voters of the 13th Ward for trusting me to represent you in the next four years!” she tweeted.

With more than 10,000 votes cast in the 13th Ward race, the margin between Palmisano and candidate Matt Perry came down to 354 votes. Candidates Missy Durant, Bob Reuer and David Regan were eliminated in the first round of ranked-choice vote tabulation.

“Every race in the 13th Ward is extremely competitive,” Palmisano said. “It’s really about that one-on-one interaction.”

Between fundraising for the campaign and raising her two-year-old, Palmisano said she tried to stay focused on connecting with voters at the door. Palmisano and her volunteers made nearly three passes through the entire ward before election day.

She celebrated with supporters Friday at the France 44 cheese shop. She posed for pictures, hugged friends and urged two young girls to run for office someday.

Before she starts her term, Palmisano is interested in holding focus group sessions with people affected by teardowns and new developments in the ward.

Matt Perry offered congratulations to Palmisano in a Facebook post, where he also thanked his team for an “excellent, issues-oriented campaign.”

“I will continue to do what I love to do — work with others to improve our community for everyone,” he said.

Durant also offered congratulations to Palmisano and said she’ll do everything she can to support her.

“I’m very proud of the campaign that we ran,” Durant said in an email. “We brought a lot of people into the political process that have never been involved before.”

Durant posted the book cover “Duck for President” on her Facebook page and wrote a cheerful message to supporters.

“Last night I was sad, might have cried a bit … and this morning, I woke up and thought, there are a lot of worse things than losing … and that’s not trying at all,” she wrote. “We created a different conversation, and got different people involved. That is important, and how change really happens.”

The Ward 13 council race was one of the closest in the city on election night.

First choices on the ballot showed Palmisano leading with 4,448 votes (43 percent) and Perry close behind with 4,060 votes (39 percent). The other candidates placed significantly farther behind in the first round, with Durant at 984 votes (9 percent), Reuer at 746 (7 percent), and Regan at 199 (2 percent).

“This race is a true test of ranked choice voting & I’m happy that fine candidates ran in #Ward13,” Perry tweeted on election night.

Ward 13 is currently represented by Council Member Betsy Hodges who was declared the new mayor-elect last night. The ward includes neighborhoods around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.

Palmisano will be one of seven new Council Members headed to City Hall in January. The City Council will be younger and more diverse with the first Somali, Hmong and Hispanic members in its history.

Besides Palmisano, the newcomers to the Council include Jacob Frey (3rd Ward), Blong Yang (5th Ward), Abdi Warsame (6th Ward), Alondra Cano (9th Ward), Lisa Bender (10th Ward) and Andrew Johnson (12th Ward).