Does running for mayor of Minneapolis and coming in fourth place qualify you for a Wikipedia page? Local computer security researcher and occasional Wikipedian Anton Schieffer doesn’t think so.
Yesterday, Schieffer flagged for deletion a page dedicated to erstwhile mayoral candidate Cam Winton. He argues Winton isn’t “notable” enough to have his own page.
“I don’t find losing a Minneapolis mayoral race very notable — in fact, over 30 people did that last year!” Schieffer wrote in response to questions from MPR News. “I hope someday Cam’s accomplishments merit a Wikipedia page, but he’s not quite there yet.”
Winton, who acknowledges the page was created by a friend to help with his campaign, disagrees.
“I don’t know how to say this without seeming self-serving,” he said. “But I meet the criteria for notability.”
Wikipedia’s guidelines say the subjects of articles need only have “received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject.”
As the only Republican waging a credible campaign, Winton got more ink last year than just about any other candidate in the race. But that didn’t ultimately translate into electoral support. He topped out at 11 percent of the vote.
In spite of that drubbing, local media continue to quote him when they need a credible GOP perspective. Minneapolis has no Republicans in elected office.
Of the 35 candidates who sought the mayor’s office last year, only three others have Wikipedia pages: Mayor Betsy Hodges, Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew and former City Council Member Dan Cohen. Cohen is more notable for his 1991 U.S. Supreme Court victory against the Star Tribune than his 2 percent showing in the mayor’s race.
Winton today took steps to preserve his page, which would have been deleted after a week if he hadn’t. In the process, he made a few additions, including his birthday and links to articles demonstrating his notability.
He also briefly changed a photo caption identifying him as “a gray-haired middle-aged man,” but changed it back after complaints the edit presented a conflict of interest.
“I’m not middle-aged,” Winton said in his defense. “I’m 35 years old.”