Candidates turn out in droves for city offices

Call it a mayor's dozen.

Filing for all 2005 city races closed July 19, and current Mayor R.T. Rybak and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin are the best-known names in a field of 12 mayoral candidates. The list also includes Girl Scout troop leader Farheen Hakeem, the Green Party-endorsed candidate.

Several 2005 candidates ran in the 2001 mayoral primary: Longfellow resident Marcus Harcus, running as a People's Party candidate, received 258 votes, or 0.4 percent in 2001; Lyndale resident Mark Koscielski, a gun shop owner, got 223 votes, or 0.4 percent; former City Councilmember and perennial candidate Dick Franson got 202 votes, or 0.3 percent; and Gregory A. "Ernie" Brown got 132 votes or 0.2 percent.

David A. Alvarado, who ran for the 11th Ward City Council seat four years ago, earning 201 votes or 2 percent in the primary, is now running for mayor. Kingfield resident Don Johnson, who runs an antiques and alternative-energy business, is running for mayor under the "No Stadium Tax" party banner. Other candidates are Gregory Groettum, Gerald James Savage and Tim Nolan.

The Library Board drew the most crowded field, with a whopping 19 candidates vying for six at-large seats. The primary will narrow the field to 12 for the Nov. 8 general election.

Here's how the other races shape up for the Sept. 13 primary, using information available as of July 20.

Ward 6: Two incumbents and a challenger

The city drew new ward boundaries after the 2000 census and this is the first city election they affect. The new map put 6th Ward Councilmember Dean Zimmermann, a Green, in the new 9th Ward and 8th Ward Councilmember Robert Lilligren, a DFLer, in the new 6th Ward.

Zimmermann moved from his East Phillips home to Whittier to run in the 6th against Lilligren. They are both finishing their first terms. Also running is James Neil Gorham, who did not have a listed phone number.

The 6th Ward includes Whittier, Stevens Square and part of the Phillips neighborhoods.

Ward 7: Three newcomers face 'deep pockets' Goodman

Councilmember Lisa Goodman (7th Ward) has three challengers - and a fourth challenger bowed out shortly after getting in.

Goodman is a formidable campaigner. The two-term DFLer chairs the Community Development Committee and had nearly $100,000 in the bank early this year, far surpassing other Council and even mayoral candidates.

Her opponents are:

– New Downtown resident Christopher Clark, 32, a senior stores clerk for the University of Minnesota Dental School and a potter who is concerned about rampant condo development and a city "catering to the upper-middle class" at the expense of renters;

– Loring Park resident Robert Halfhill, 64, who does not work due to a disability and whose top priorities include gay rights and legalizing medicinal marijuana;

– Downtown resident Carl Myron Erickson. He listed no phone number on his city filing papers. Efforts to reach him at the Drake Hotel, 416 S. 10th St., were unsuccessful.

Financial analyst and Loring Park resident Terrell Brown filed July 5 to oppose Goodman, whom he had supported in the past, but he withdrew 10 days later. The DFLer said Goodman had been in office long enough but was not available for comment after dropping out.

Redistricting redrew the 7th Ward to cover almost all of Downtown and the Southwest neighborhoods of Kenwood, Lowry Hill, Bryn Mawr and Cedar-Isles-Dean.

Ward 8: Hits double figures

The open 8th Ward - which covers most of Kingfield plus neighborhoods east of I-35W - is jam-packed with candidates; incumbent Lilligren got drawn out of the ward. The candidates are:

Marie Hauser, a nurse and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board member; Jeff Hayden, a housing coordinator for the Minnesota Supportive Housing Consortium and former aide to Councilmember Gary Schiff (9th Ward); Elizabeth Glidden, a civil rights attorney.

Dennis Tifft, business service trainer for the Park Nicollet Clinic; Doug Mann, former School Board candidate; Donald Bellfield, a senior human resource generalist with the Metropolitan Council with Republican Party backing.

Terry Natalie Yzaguirre, a technical manager with Agristar Global Network; Zachary Metoyer, member of the federal Police Community Relations Council; Reginald Birts, a Wells Fargo Mortgage consultant; and Darryl J. Robinson, no information available.

Ward 10: Six seek open seat

First-termer Dan Niziolek is not seeking reelection, and six candidates are competing for the seat. (See cover story.)

Ward 11: No primary

Incumbent Scott Benson will face challenger Gregg Iverson, who ran in the 2001 12th Ward primary, coming in third with 485 votes or 9 percent.

The ward covers Windom, Tangletown and part of Kingfield, as well as far-Southeast Minneapolis.

Ward 13: Three-way tussle

Barret Lane earned a reputation as a budget hawk, representing the more conservative 13th Ward. Three are trying to take his place. Former City Councilmember Lisa McDonald; Betsy Hodges, the DFL-endorsed candidate and former staffer for Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman; and Michael Hohmann, former Planning Commission member and independent candidate.

The ward's neighborhoods are Linden Hills, Fulton, Armatage, Kenny, Lynnhurst, West Calhoun and part of East Harriet.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The nine-member Park Board has six district seats and three at-large seats, all contested this year.

One of the bigger surprises for the at-large race is who is not there. John Lilly, assistant director of the Minnesota State Parks, and Paula Gilbertson, a Powderhorn Park activist and Linden Hills Co-op manager, sought DFL endorsement but did not file. The DFL convention only endorsed two candidates for the three seats, bypassing Lilly and Gilbertson.

Two incumbents are running: Rochelle Berry Graves and Green Party-endorsed Annie Young. (The third, John Erwin, is not seeking reelection.)

Five other candidates filed: former Parks Supt. and DFL-endorsed Mary Merrill Anderson; DFL-endorsed newcomer Tom Nordyke, formerly of the Downtown arts developer Artspace and now a real estate consultant for arts nonprofits; Meg Forney, a Southwest Minneapolis Realtor who has been active on city boards; Clement Shimizu, a Ph.D. student in computer graphics; employment rights attorney Daniel J. Froehlich; and Jordan Garner.

Two Park district seats are in Southwest.

Park District 4, which covers Southwest north of Lake Street plus the East Calhoun neighborhood, has an open seat. Three candidates filed. East Calhoun resident Tracy Nordstrom, a gardener; Kenwood resident Christine Hansen, a banker who works with high-net-worth clients; and Jennifer Salita. (Nordstrom ran and narrowly lost to incumbent Bob Fine in Park District 6 in 2001, 48 percent to 51 percent. Redistricting put her in a new district.)

Park District 6 has no primary. Two-term incumbent Bob Fine, a Linden Hills resident and real estate attorney will run against Jim Bernstein, a Fulton resident, former state Commerce Commissioner and current city Charter Commission chair. District 6 covers all of Southwest not in District 4.

Library Board: A card catalogue of candidates

The eight-member Library Board has six at-large seats up for election (the mayor and City Council also each appoint one member).

Diane Hofstede and appointee Gregory Gray are not running.

Incumbents in the race are Anita Duckor, Virginia Holte, Rod Krueger, Laurie Savran, and Laura Waterman Wittstock (who did not run last time but was appointed by Mayor R.T. Rybak.)

The challengers are: Sheldon Mains, who ran in 2001 and got 8.2 percent of the vote in the general election, losing by a fraction of a percent; Travis Lee, who ran in 2001 and got 5.3 percent; Victor Grambsch; Thomas Deyo; Mark "Sparky" Elko; Lisa Kjellander; Timothy A. Davis Sr.; Eric Hinsdale; Gary Thaden; Samantha Smart; Ian Stade; Julie Iverson; Alan Hooker; and Jae Bryson.

Board of Estimate and Taxation

The seven-member Board of Estimate and Taxation sets levy limits among the city, Park and Library boards. The mayor and two Councilmembers sit on the Board with one representative each from the Park and Library Board. Two members are elected at-large.

Incumbent Gordon Nelson, long-endorsed by the DFL but not this year, is running again; Wally Swan is not. Six others have filed for the two elected seats: DFL-endorsed Carol Becker and Jill Schwimmer, Geno Bassett, Matthew Jones, Ted Cabana and Dave Berger.

To find the new ward and district boundaries, see: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/redistricting/MinneapolisRedistrictingPlan.asp.

For a list of candidates, see: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/elections.