Rybak, McLaughlin debate on Feb. 23

A DFL mayoral debate between Mayor R.T. Rybak and challenger Peter McLaughlin is set for Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30-9 p.m. at Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St.

Senate District 60 DFL – the state’s most highly concentrated DFL district that stretches from Bryn Mawr to 54th Street – is the lead sponsor, said Chair Joel Bergstrom.

The debate is aimed at local DFLers who plan to attend the Tuesday, March 1, precinct caucuses, which begin the process of electing ward and city

convention delegates. (The city-level precinct caucuses are new; in past years, the party has used the previous year’s presidential-election delegates to make Minneapolis endorsements.)

In 2001, Rybak surprised political observers by blocking the expected endorsement of incumbent Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton. Rybak eventually defeated Sayles Belton in the general election.