Stadium opponents win, mostly, in Minneapolis elections

The Minneapolis City Council with mayor R.T. Rybak

The elections in Minneapolis proved an off night for officials who supported the city’s deal on the Vikings stadium last year.

Most of the seven council members who voted yes back in May of 2012 fell short of either their re-election plans or attempts for higher office. And although the most vocal of the stadium opponents in the mayoral race, Dan Cohen, fell short of a top-3 finish in first choice votes, stadium opponents fared pretty well facing the voters for the first time since the stadium deal was cut.

Seven council members voted to support the deal, six opposed it. Here are their fates:

Name Office Outcome Details
Supporters, May 2012
Kevin Reich Ward 1 Re-elected 71% of 1st choice votes
Diane Hofstede Ward 3 Defeated 26% of 1st choice votes
Barb Johnson Ward 4 Re-elected 55% of 1st choice votes
Don Samuels Ward 5 Did not seek re-election Ranked 3rd in mayor’s race
Meg Tuthill Ward 10 Defeated 29% of 1st choice votes
John Quincy Ward 11 Re-elected 63% of 1st choice votes
Sandy Colvin Roy Ward 12 Did not seek re-election Lost DFL endorsement
Success rate 43%
Opponents, May 2012
Cam Gordon Ward 2 Re-elected 78% of 1st choice votes
Robert Lilligren Ward 6 Defeated 31% of 1st choice votes
Lisa Goodman Ward 7 Re-elected Unopposed
Elizabeth Glidden Ward 8 Re-elected Unopposed
Gary Schiff Ward 9 Did not seek re-election Ran unsuccessfully for mayor
Betsy Hodges Ward 13 Did not seek re-election Likely mayoral victor
Success rate 66%

It makes last year’s stadium victory, at least at first blush, look a little pyrrhic.

  • I’m not sure the conclusion I would draw is that this was an off-night for stadium supporters. Of the five stadium supporters who sought re-election, three won and two lost and two of those winners were by very strong margins. Of the four stadium opponents who sought re-election, three won and one lost. While I agree with those who think it was a bad deal, my guess is there were plenty of other factors involved besides just the stadium project.

    • JasonB

      Agreed. Still, it was one of my voting criteria. Though I don’t know what any changes in the council now would do to hinder or stop the stadium.

      • Nothing. They will very likely break ground before this new council even takes office. Anyone who campaigned on a position that they would stop the project was either lying or delusional.

    • Tim Nelson

      I wasn’t trying to imply a direct causal link in this table. But I think, as we saw in the exchange between Hofstede and Goodman today, that the Vikings stadium did play some role in this year’s elections — or at least the people running in them seemed to think so. I also get your point about the strict accounting of council re-election, as well, but I don’t think Don Samuels is the equivalent of Betsy Hodges, even though, from a council election point of view, both chose simply not to run for their seat again. I tried to be a little more holistic in the math here.