The DFL Party may be a powerful force in Minneapolis politics, but it’s not powerful enough to force incumbent city council members to abandon their re-election efforts.
Council Member Meg Tuthill announced today she’s restarting her campaign, which she suspended in April after the DFL endorsed her challenger, political newcomer Lisa Bender.
Bender was one of three insurgent Minneapolis City Council candidates who successfully snatched party endorsement from a DFL incumbent this year. Like the other two incumbents, Robert Lilligren and Diane Hofstede, Tuthill had promised party regulars she would drop out if that happened. All three have now reneged on that pledge.
In an email to supporters explaining her decision, Tuthill wrote:
The Tenth Ward needs consistency and continuity. We have been represented by three council members in the past 12 years and each time we train in a new council member, the priorities of the ward get pushed behind. This leaves our residents and the business community shortchanged. My experienced voice would provide continuity in planning for housing and business. I am the only candidate in this race who has the experience and the relationships and demonstrated constituent service to move our ward forward.
Lilligren and Hofstede each argued the party’s endorsement lacked legitimacy, because of alleged irregularities at the precinct caucuses. Lilligren even appealed the decision to state DFL leaders, but yesterday the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee ruled Abdi Warsame’s endorsement was valid.