Daily News: countdown to election

Good morning and welcome to Monday, the start of an important election week. I hope you fell back successfully. Find the latest about the mass shooting in Texas here. Here’s the Digest.

1. Candidates for mayor in Minnesota’s two largest cities spent the weekend making their closing arguments to voters. Some candidates spent the last Sunday morning before the election in the pews of churches before heading to their final forum at a Minneapolis radio station. In St. Paul, the talking points now come easily, peppered into conversations. The candidates’ shoes are well worn from going house to house, event to event. (MPR News)

2. It could take until Saturday before a winner is declared in St. Paul’s mayor’s race. While it should be clear sometime on Tuesday night who was the top choice in the first round, unless that candidate has more than 50 percent of the vote, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth choice ballots will come into play. It’s all part of the ranked choice voting system, and it’s entirely possible that the leader in the first round will not be the eventual winner. (Pioneer Press)

3. Political turmoil in Washington is animating this year’s nonpartisan school board and city council races across Minnesota. Voters’ attitudes provide clues to their moods heading into 2018, when they’ll help decide control of both chambers of Congress and choose a new governor. Interviews with candidates on Minnesota ballots this Tuesday found a near-unanimous sense of renewed voter interest in issues and campaigns. Some said dismay with the national scene is increasing awareness of the importance of local races. Some said they expect turnout — usually low in off-year elections with no national or statewide races — to be higher than normal. And some see positive signs for 2018 in what they’re hearing this year. (Star Tribune)

4. Of all those caught up in the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, Vin Weber may be the most unlikely. Weber is reportedly under scrutiny by a grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller for his involvement in an influence campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests tied to Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chair. Unlike Manafort, Weber actively opposed Trump, telling MPR News in 2016 that “the party made a mistake … I can’t simply back somebody that I think is bad for the country, and I think a lot of Republicans feel the same way.” But Weber’s presence in Manafort’s orbit has pushed Weber’s career as a top Washington lobbyist and Republican insider back into the news. (MPR News)

5. A Ramsey County outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis has grown to 17 cases, making it the largest in the country and prompting state health officials to monitor several hundred more people who may have been exposed. The case presents another significant and costly challenge for public health officials in Minnesota, who battled a stubborn measles outbreak this year. And patients affected by the outbreak have to endure long hospitalizations, close monitoring and a costly medication regimen that has more side effects than the two first-line antibiotics that are ineffective against this strain. The outbreak has primarily affected elderly residents in the Hmong community, with 10 cases linked to a senior center where the first case was detected in 2016. Four other Hmong residents were also infected. (Star Tribune)

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