Daily Digest: Carter wins in St. Paul

Good morning, and welcome to a post-election Wednesday. Let’s check the results in the Digest.

1. St. Paul voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly chose Melvin Carter as the city’s next mayor. Carter, a former St. Paul City Council member, won about 51 percent of the vote, dominating a crowded field in the race to replace Mayor Chris Coleman. Council member Pat Harris came in a distant second winning about 25 percent of the vote. The fact that Carter won more than 50 percent of the vote decided the matter relatively quickly Tuesday night. “We just started off by asking people of every walk of life in St. Paul what is your vision of this city?” Carter told supporters Tuesday following his win. “And I’m really proud because what we have built what I’m excited to say is a big, bold bad vision for the city of St. Paul.” (MPR News)

2. Carter, 38, will be the first African-American to serve as mayor in St. Paul. “This is the honor of a lifetime,” Carter said late Tuesday night. “Being able to carry a majority of the first-choice votes says to me loud and clear that St. Paul is a city ready for change.” “(Melvin Carter) lives, breathes and bleeds the city of St. Paul. Our families will be celebrating all year,” said childhood friend Nneka Constantino, a board member with the St. Paul Port Authority, who was among hundreds of Carter supporters gathered at the Union Depot Tuesday night. (Pioneer Press)

3. In Minneapolis there was no winner for mayor after a count of the first choice ballots.  City council member Jacob Frey led the first round, with Hennepin Theatre Trust president Tom Hoch, incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges, state Rep. Raymond Dehn and law professor Nekima Levy-Pounds clustered behind him. Through the night, Frey, a City Council member, steadily led a pack of 16 mayoral candidates. Hailing the initial results, Frey, 36, noted that skeptics have told him he’s “too young, too ambitious and not from here.” He said he moved to Minneapolis because he loves the city, and added, “I think ambition for the city is a damn good thing.”  Several races on the Minneapolis City Council, where all 13 seats were up for grabs, wrapped up quickly with victories by several incumbents. They were Cam Gordon in the Second Ward, Lisa Goodman in the Seventh, Lisa Bender in the 10th, Andrew Johnson in the 12th and Linea Palmisano in the 13th. In the Eighth Ward, history was made as newcomer Andrea Jenkins won more than 70 percent of the votes, securing the seat and making her the first transgender woman of color elected to public office in the nation. She succeeds Elizabeth Glidden, who did not run for reelection. But some other council races were still too close to call. (Star Tribune)

4. Responding to the state’s biggest school bonding request in two decades, voters in the Anoka-Hennepin district said “yes” to spending $249 million on new buildings and construction. The funding boost aims to finance two new elementary schools. In all, metro-area school districts this fall asked for more than $1 billion for construction, technology and facilities improvements.  Anoka-Hennepin also won a $226.20 operating levy, or $95 million over 10 years, and elected a new school board member.  Other districts, too, made $100 million-plus requests to meet growth demands. Mounds View held off for 18 years before asking voters for $164 million for more classrooms and learning spaces, which appeared headed for approval. The Roseville district won a $144 million pitch for renovations and additions, the Prior Lake district got $109 million, part of which was to be used for a new elementary school. (Star Tribune)

5. Voters in Virginia and New Jersey gave Democratic gubernatorial candidates large victories Tuesday and sent a clear message of rebuke to Republican President Donald Trump. In Virginia’s hard-fought contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey front-running Democrat Phil Murphy overcame Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie. The wins in Virginia and New Jersey are a morale boost to Democrats who had so far been unable to channel anti-Trump energy into success at the ballot box in a major election this year. (AP)

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