Mammen tops big School Board race

Southwest results reflect citywide totals

DFL-endorsed candidate Richard Mammen beat all others by a wide margin in the at-large School Board race, advancing to the general election with Rebecca Gagnon, Chanda Smith Baker and incumbent T. Williams.

The four top vote-getters emerged from a field of 10 candidates and will compete for two open at-large School Board seats in November. The eastern half of the city also will elect district representatives to the School Board in November, although none of those races required a primary.

Mammen, a youth worker, received 12,699 votes [21.69 percent]. Gagnon, a district parent and volunteer who lives in Southwest, received 8,449 votes [14.43 percent], placing just ahead of Smith Baker, director of strategic partners for non-profit Pillsbury United Communities, who received 8,296 votes [14.17 percent].

Williams, a retired senior researcher for a Minneapolis nonprofit now finishing his first term on the board, received 7,313 votes [12.49 percent].

Among those candidates who will not advance, Mohamud Noor finished strongest, receiving 6,222 votes [10.63 percent]. Next came Shirlynn LaChapelle with 4,559 votes [7.79 percent].

Even though LaChapelle dropped out of the race and did not campaign in the weeks leading up to the primary election, she finished ahead of Doug Mann, James Everett, Steven Lasley and Dick Velner.

Southwest focus

When Southwest precincts alone are considered the vote totals largely reflect the citywide results, with the same four candidates finishing on top. There was one significant difference, however: Voters in this part of the city preferred Williams over Smith Baker, but just slightly.

Noor had a strong showing in parts of Southwest, breaking into the top four in the portions of wards 6 and 8 located west of Interstate 35-W. He was the top vote-getter in Stevens Square and Whittier, and finished among the top four in portions of Kingfield.

Where Noor did well in Southwest he pushed Williams out of the top four finishers.

There were 19,140 votes cast for School Board candidates in Southwest, which includes all of wards 10 and 13, as well as portions of wards 6, 7, 8 and 11.

Mammen received 4,692 votes [24.51 percent]. Gagnon received 3,076 votes [16.07 percent].

Williams received 2,686 votes [14.03 percent]. Smith Baker received 2,421 votes [12.65 percent].