Savage enters 10th Ward Council race

Regardless of what you think of his politics, you’ve got to love his campaign slogan: Run with a Savage.

Harry Savage, 22, is vying for the already crowded 10th Ward City Council race with youthful confidence. A recent University of Minnesota Classics graduate, he said his age is no disadvantage. "Alexander the Great – look at what that man did in the short length of time he was alive," he said. "He defeated a couple of old codgers on the Persian side."

Savage considers himself a conservative Democrat. He wants the city to promote development of more high-end condos to increase its tax base and take a Rudy Giuliani-style get-tough-on-crime approach.

Incumbent Dan Niziolek announced last year he would not run for reelection in the ward that covers the Wedge, CARAG, East Calhoun, Lyndale, East Harriet and CIDNA neighborhoods. Current or ex-Council aides Allan Bernard and Gay Noble are vying for the seat with Lyndale neighborhood activist Scott Persons.

Savage works in food service for Marshall Field’s Oak Grill, he said. He is looking for a young professional-type job but has always felt called to run for office. "So, I thought, why not start now?" he said.

He filed a campaign committee with Hennepin County elections yet is taking a nontraditional approach. In a 20-minute phone conversation, he touted his inexperience as a virtue. Asked what credentials he has to serve on the Council, he replied: "Honestly, none."

"I am fresh and without corruption in politics," he said. "You need youth and vigor over slowness and ineptness and experience."

His top priority is addressing crime, "None of this sissy stuff. Crack down on all the misdemeanors," he said.

He would pay for more police by encouraging the development of more high-buck condos. ("Affordable housing is not on my list," he said.) He acknowledged high-density development might not be popular in Uptown, so they might have to go somewhere else.

He said increasing housing density would have the important benefit of increasing the city’s population and, therefore, its legislative clout.

Savage said he would like the city and state to do a lot more to promote mass transit.