The word(s) on Minneapolis mayoral candidates

When I started writing earlier this morning, 13 candidates had registered for mayor of Minneapolis. By the time I clicked publish, the list had grown to 15, and we’re only halfway through the two-week filing period.

Many of the leading candidates — including Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels and Cam Winton — have yet to complete their paperwork, and so the list is guaranteed to grow.

Mark Andrew got his form stamped yesterday, as did Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Bob Fine, who just joined the mayor’s race this week.

The number of candidates registered already exceeds the total who appeared on the ballot four years ago. It’s the first time in 20 years the city has had a mayor’s race without an incumbent candidate.

The City Clerk’s office tried to head off the cavalcade by hiking the filing fees this year. But that effort failed, and so running for office in Minneapolis remains one of the cheapest ways achieve your fifteen minutes fame — just $20.

There are plenty of familiar names on the list already, including perennial candidates Ole Savior and Bob “Again” Carney, Jr. Lest you think that’s an editorial comment, Carney chose the nickname himself.

The Minneapolis City Charter allows each candidate to select up to three words describing “political party or political principle” to appear on the ballot underneath the name.

The candidates who’ve registered so far represent a dizzying ideological array, including some combinations of letters that aren’t even part of the English language. John Wilson is a “Lauraist Communist,” and Rahn Workcuff wrote “indepence,” but perhaps he’ll be allowed to correct the spelling before the ballots go to the printer.

Taken together, maybe all these words say something about what’s happening in the city’s collective imagination.

MPR infographic created using wordle.net.

Then again, maybe not. We’ll try again once all the filings are finished next week.