A Republican candidate for mayor of Minneapolis announced he is dropping out of that race — and into the race for an at-large Park Board seat.
Jonathan Honerbrink launched his bid for mayor this spring, aiming to break the DFL’s nearly four-decade-long hold on the office. In an announcement issued Friday, Honerbrink said his decision to try instead for election as a Park Board commissioner came “after hearing from many residents about the structural deficiencies with the management of the park system.”
All nine seats on the Park Board come open this fall, and a slate of progressive candidates is contending. Earlier this month, delegates to the DFL city convention endorsed Russ Henry, Londel French and Devin Hogan for the three at-large seats; all three are also endorsed by the Sen. Bernie Sanders-inspired Our Revolution Twin Cities.
A West Calhoun resident, Honerbrink is self-employed as a consultant to the development and construction industries. He previously worked for Home Depot.
Honerbrink said he has coached park league football teams and helped on donations drives to benefit the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. He said he is familiar with both the system and many of the people who work in it.
“I know there are a lot of good people there,” he said.
In an interview Monday, Honerbrink said he would like to see the Park Board invest in new community centers with more programming for both adults and children, including music and the arts in addition to sports. He said solar installations on Park Board buildings could eventually help to pay for improvements.
“There are so many good things that can be done with kids when they have a place to go,” he said. “They can stay out of trouble.”
Honerbrink said he would also push the Park Board to “disinvest” in properties like Meadowbrook Golf Club, which has been closed since extensive flooding in 2014. It is located outside of city limits.
“(The Park Board) should not own a property in St. Louis Park,” he said.
Honerbrink had previously registered a campaign fundraising committee for his mayoral race with Hennepin County. The filing period for all Minneapolis offices opens Aug. 1.