The Southwest Journal’s voter’s guide includes stories on the three competitive races for the Minneapolis School Board and questionnaires with candidates running for the U.S. House and the state House and Senate. We also include a rundown of everything you’ll see on your ballot, including an explanation of the city’s two referendums. You can read our full 2020 voter’s guide here.
The 5th District race pits first-term incumbent Ilhan Omar against a North Minneapolis businessman and a Legal Marijuana party candidate.
Omar staved off a well-funded primary challenge in August by mediation lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux to earn her spot on the general-election ballot.
DFL: Ilhan Omar (Incumbent)
Endorsements: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Minnesota Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Money raised/cash on hand: $4,282,287 (Jan. 1, 2019-July 22, 2020)/$732,446 (as of July 22)
Top accomplishments and top priorities: As someone who experienced hunger as a child and has worked on food insecurity, our efforts to keep families and children fed makes me really proud. I introduced a bill to eliminate student lunch debt with Sen. Tina Smith and another to make school meals universal. My MEALS act, which helps keep 22 million kids who rely on school meals fed during the pandemic, passed into law as part of the coronavirus package.
Minnesota has some of the worst racial health disparities in the country, and this pandemic is only making them worse. Millions are losing their employer-provided health insurance, and there’s no end in sight. This is a health crisis, and that’s why we have to pass Medicare For All, which I’m co-leading.
On a single night, more than 10,000 people in Minnesota were homeless last year — the highest number ever recorded. We have the power to fix this with my Homes For All bill.
GOP: Lacy Johnson
Occupation: Businessman/computer engineer
Endorsements: President Donald Trump
Money raised/cash on hand: $4,271,443 (July 1, 2019-July 22, 2020)/$857,758 (as of July 22)
Qualifications: I’ve lived in CD5 for over 40 years, much longer than any other candidate. I’ve worked alongside city leaders around education, business develop- ment, entrepreneurship, criminal justice reform and neighborhood development. I care about my community as the agenda I am pushing is not to serve myself or my colleagues, but my community. To put it simply — my character.
I am honest, trustworthy and have a deep concern, understanding and connection with the people of CD5 and the issues we are facing.
Top priorities: Economy, education, family.
(Lacy Johnson did not respond to the Southwest Journal’s questionnaire. These answers are adapted from his submission for the July primary voter’s guide.)
Legal Marijuana Now: Michael Moore
Occupation: Retired businessman
Money raised/cash on hand: No data available on the Federal Election Commission website
Qualifications and top priorities: 150 words is not sufficient to detail my qualifications, let alone discuss priorities. I encourage people to check out my website for in-depth breakdowns of platform positions and extended explanations of issues and concerns that are affecting everyone in the 5th District.
The truth is, I’ve been lucky. I’m a retired businessman. I moved to Thailand in 2009 and don’t need to work in or worry about the 5th District anymore. My successful enterprises have afforded me the opportunity to effectively “buy out” of the daily American struggle that we all share. But I was born and raised in the 5th District, and my hometown has a lot of problems right now, namely, a severe lack of leadership.
I deeply care about and fully understand our social issues, and I offer real, meaningful solutions. We all know that partisan politics doesn’t work. But then, I’m not a partisan politician.