Three School Board seats will be contested

Minneapolis Public Schools

Southwest Minneapolis voters will have multiple candidates in two of the three open School Board seats covering the area in November.

A fourth open seat that covers North Minneapolis will also have multiple candidates.

Five candidates have filed for election for the open citywide School Board seat. They are William Awe, Lynne Crockett, Michael Duenes, incumbent Kim Ellison and Doug Mann.

Three candidates — Adriana Cerrillo, Christa Mims and Ken Shain — have filed for the seat covering the ECCO neighborhood, downtown and the seven Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods north of Lake Street. Incumbent Bob Walser is not running for reelection.

Incumbent Ira Jourdain was the only candidate to file for the open seat that covers the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods south of Lake Street, minus ECCO. Two candidates — Sharon El-Amin and incumbent KerryJo Felder — filed for the North Minneapolis seat.

The nine-member School Board has six seats that are decided by voters in specific districts of Minneapolis and three decided by voters across the city. Board members are elected to four-year terms. Races are nonpar- tisan, though the DFL endorses candidates.

Only two candidates are allowed to appear on the general-election ballot for each open seat.

Future boards will have to grapple with an educational landscape that could be altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will lead implementation of the Comprehensive District Design restructuring plan that passed last month. They’ll also have to decide whether to offer Superintendent Ed Graff another contract extension when his three-year deal expires in 2022 and will be judged on whether their work addresses disparities in educational outcomes.

Also on the ballot this fall in Southwest Minneapolis will be state House and Senate seats. In District 61A, Republican Kurtis Fechtmeyer will face nine-term incumbent DFLer Frank Hornstein. In districts 61B, 62A and 62B, DFL incumbents Jamie Long, Hodan Hassan and Aisha Gomez — each elected for the first time in 2018 — will face GOP challengers Lisa Pohlman, Arjun Kataria and Ross Tenneson, respectively.

In Senate District 61, five-term senator Scott Dibble (DFL) will face Republican Jennifer Zielinski. In District 62, three- term incumbent Jeff Hayden will face Omar Fateh in a primary to determine who will represent the DFL on the general-election ballot. The winner will face Republican Bruce Lundeen.

DFLers will be overwhelmingly favored in those state House and Senate races.

The state primary election will be Aug. 11, and the general election will be Nov. 3. The early-voting period for the primary opens June 26.

Here are voter’s guides to the two contested races appearing on Southwest residents’ ballots: