DFL county convention adjourns without endorsing County Commissioner candidate

The Hennepin County DFL District 3 Convention adjourned yesterday without endorsing one of the four candidates running for County Commissioner.

Convention organizers could not determine who should be credentialed as voting delegates. Given the disorganization and confusion, the four candidates running for former Commissioner Gail Dorfman’s seat voted to call for no endorsement. State Sen. Scott Dibble worked with the campaigns to make the motion at the convention, which was held at Ramsey Middle School. 

Candidates running for the seat include former state Rep. Marion Greene, former state Sen. Ken Kelash, St. Louis Park City Council Member Anne Mavity and Hennepin County prosecutor Ben Schweigert. They will move onto the primary set for April 29 followed by a special election May 13.

The special election was triggered when Dorfman stepped down from her post earlier this year to take a job as executive director at St. Stephen’s Human Services. District 3 includes St. Louis Park and southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods.

Candidates said they were disappointed by the process.

“I wish things had run more smoothly and that I would have had the chance to compete for the endorsement, but I had a great time talking with all of the delegates and volunteers there, and my campaign had a great showing,” Schweigert said. “We left the hall with a ton of energy to pour into the last five weeks of the campaign.”

Mavity said she was also discouraged by how things were handled. 

“I am disappointed and was looking forward to the opportunity to share our campaign’s message of how we can work together to make the county a more equitable, thriving, sustainable community,” she said. “We will now take that message to voters in District 3, and look forward to a great voter turnout for the April 29 primary and May 13 general election.”

Kelash noted that there was a chance for all of the candidates to pitch their ideas to the convention goers. “The delegates were kind enough to stay after the convention and allowed all four candidate to give their convention speeches before they went home,” he said.