Should Minneapolis increase the cost of running for office?

From left, Captain Jack Sparrow, Jeff Wagner, Michael Gould and Dan Cohen are just a few of the 35 candidates that ran for Minneapolis mayor last year. (MPR Photo/Curtis Gilbert)

“Last year’s mayoral race in Minneapolis included 35 candidates, ranging from a member of the Pirate Party to a (separate) candidate who ran under the name Captain Jack Sparrow. The crowded race spurred MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow to describe the city’s election as ‘crazy pants.'” writes MPR News reporter Jon Collins.

The threshold to run for mayor may be higher in the future. The Minneapolis Charter Commission approved a proposal Wednesday to raise filing fees for city offices. The proposal goes before voters in November.

All filing fees for municipal offices in Minneapolis are currently $20. Voters would be asked to raise the fees to run for mayor to $500, city council fees to $250 and $100 each for positions with the Board of Estimate and Taxation or Park and Recreation Board.

“More than half the candidates who ran for mayor in the last election did not file campaign finance reports, that means they didn’t spend more than $100 in their race,” Charter Commission Chair Barry Clegg said. “People who don’t spend $100 and don’t vigorously campaign are not viable candidates for mayor.”

Today’s Question: Should Minneapolis increase the cost of running for office?

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  • Sue de Nim

    They have to raise the bar somehow. Raising the fee is one way, but it would still leave the door open for the wealthy to run as vanity candidates. I think candidates should have to demonstrate breadth of support by submitting nominating petitions with the signatures of, say, a thousand registered voters.

    • PaulJ

      That sounds right

    • Ringo

      Sounds like a nice solution.

      Would a pirate’s “X” count as a signature?

  • Greylurk

    The filing fee should cover the cost of adding an extra name to the ballot, and that’s it.

  • Gary F

    The Inner Party is finding a way to keep the Proles from running for office.

    And, with Instant Runoff Voting, a Prole just might win.

  • Jamie

    I agree with Sue de Nim. Make prospective candidates submit 1,000 signatures of registered Minneapolis voters. The fee shouldn’t keep people from running. The time commitment of being mayor and seriousness of the potential job should make garnering 1,000 signatures a comparative walk-in-the-park.

    • John Schumacher

      I guarantee that a gentleman running under the name of ‘Jack Sparrow’ would easily get 1,000 of those signatures.

  • Paul

    How about a psych evaluation, drug test, and credit check. That usually get’s rid of the riff raff.

  • JQP

    No. They should have to pass the american citizenship exam.

  • Skipper50

    The more the merrier. Perhaps the city should pay people to run.