Minneapolis DFLers end convention with no mayoral endorsement

The Minneapolis DFL has failed to endorse a candidate for mayor, after a convention that lasted more than 12 hours.

Mark Andrew, a former chair of the Hennepin County Board, led throughout the balloting process. He reached a bare majority of the vote on the fourth ballot, but failed to achieve the 60 percent needed for endorsement.

“We’ve done an incredible job. We’ve been in this campaign 16 weeks, that’s all,” Andrew told his supporters. “We came from nowhere, and we stormed the city.”

The convention grew testy as supporters of Betsy Hodges walked out of the auditorium, denying Andrew a quorum and forcing the convention to adjourn with no endorsement.

Hodges failed to pick up sufficient support after Gary Schiff dropped his name from consideration. Schiff is staying in the race, but asked his supporters to back Hodges in what DFL leaders saw as a bid to deadlock the convention.

Schiff was in third place after the first and second ballots. Three other candidates were eliminated after the first ballot. Don Samuels, Jackie Cherryhomes and Jim Thomas each drew less than 10 percent of the vote.

With no endorsement, the field of candidates remains unchanged, although Schiff lost the backing of the Minnesota Firefighters union. The union was angry that he forged an alliance with Hodges, who has been the union’s adversary in many budget battles.

Party rules allow the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee to award an endorsement when delegates fail to do so. But chair Dan McConnell doubts that will happen.

“I think we’re going to have a DFL candidate elected no matter what,” McConnell said.