Republican runs for Minneapolis mayor

picture of Cam Winton.JPGThe DFL has controlled the Minneapolis mayor’s office for more than 30 years, but Cam Winton hopes to break that streak.

“I’m not seeking the endorsement of any party, because I want to call it like I see it,” said Winton, who kicks off his campaign tonight. “I want to talk about potholes and police officers and what we can do to make it easier for businesses to start here and grow here.”

The 34-year-old attorney argues the city needs to simplify its regulatory bureaucracy, hire more police and spend more on road repair. To help pay for those priorities, he’d divert money earmarked for building new bike lanes and buying expensive software licenses.

Winton contributed $500 to the Republican Party of Minnesota last year, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. But he says his support for same-sex marriage and his work in green energy will help him court the votes of the liberals who dominate city politics.

Democrat Barack Obama captured 80 percent of the Minneapolis vote last year; Republican Mitt Romney got less than 17 percent.

The last non-DFLer to be elected mayor of Minneapolis was independent Charles Stenvig, who served in the 1960s and ’70s. The last time Minneapolis elected a Republican mayor was P. Kenneth Peterson in 1959.

The office of mayor is technically non-partisan, but candidates are free to list any party affiliation or political philosophy they like on the ballot as long as it’s three words or fewer.

Four years ago, candidates chose a variety of unique labels, including “Edgertonite National Party” and “Moderate Progressive Censored.” One candidate, named Joey Lombard, simply asserted he “Is Awesome.”

No one identified themselves as a Republican, and Winton won’t, either. He’s going with “Fresh leadership now.”

(Photo courtesy of Cam Winton)

  • Jessica

    Good! We need a different perspective in this city.

  • Mark

    As a registered DFL’er, I would seriously consider Winton. Seems he has a non-nonsense work ethic.

  • Jansen

    This guy isn’t from Minnesota or Minneapolis. He only moved here a few years ago. He sounds like a nice guy, but I’d feel more comfortable with a candidate that has spent a bit more time getting to know Minnesota and Minnesotans.

  • Ben

    I thought he sounded good, but his anti-bike lane thing shows ignorance given that most of that money comes from the Feds through a special grant MN got and second the bike corridor along Lake has helped lead to a building boom. Also, software licenses lead to productivity…and partnerships like a recent one I think with IBM are a good use of money. Minneapolis should cut costs and etc, but it’s through reforming and getting more out of needed programs, not cutting bike lanes.

  • Bill Johnston

    Works in green energy and doesn’t support bike lanes?

  • Cam Winton

    Hello. Campaign 101 says the candidate shouldn’t be spending time posting comments, but as I’ve said, I’m running to bring a fresh set of eyes to the challenges we face and that requires doing things a bit differently. So: re my time in Minnesota: I first worked here in Minneapolis in 2005 and moved to Minneapolis permanently in 2006 — the same year I married my Minnesota-born wife. Since 2009 I’ve worked in wind energy, a job that’s taken me throughout Greater Minnesota. I know 212 like the back of my hand. Re the bike lane funding, I’m basing my data on the city’s published budget. Re software licenses, I’m referring to doing what the U has done: replace traditional software licenses with Google Apps. I appreciate the issues-based discussion and I look forward to continuing it throughout the campaign. -Cam Winton

  • Jansen

    2006, that makes only 6 years here. I just don’t buy that an outsider can become intimately familiar with a place, its people, its culture, and its values in that short amount of time. This just smacks of someone thinking they know what is good for Minneapolis without actually knowing Minneapolis.