Around 50 attendees at state Rep. Raymond Dehn’s election party watched the Minneapolis mayoral candidate take in about 17 percent of first-choice votes on Tuesday night.
“We’re looking at the numbers, and there’s still a path for victory,” Dehn said in an interview with the Minnesota Daily as election results came in.
By 10:30 p.m., the crowd had thinned at Du Nord Craft Spirits in southeast Minneapolis. Candidates Jacob Frey, Tom Hoch and incumbent Betsy Hodges beat out Dehn for first-choice votes.
Dehn, who has been a state representative since 2012 for District 59B, campaigned on affordable housing, police accountability and establishing Minneapolis as a sanctuary city.
In an interview Tuesday night, Dehn said he also felt it was important to have students working on his campaign over the last 10 months.
Dehn’s campaign manager, Joelle Stangler, was the University of Minnesota's student body president from 2014 to 2016.
“We need to look to young people a whole lot more than we currently do,” he said. “Evidently, we've quadrupled turnout in student precincts from 2013. I mentioned earlier that that's one of the things that we thought was important to do, and we did it."
Raquel Sidie-Wagner, Dehn’s volunteer coordinator, said she is proud of Dehn’s campaign because people initially said it “wasn’t viable.”
“No matter what happens ... his team was scrappy and creative and worked their tails off, and I’m really proud to have been a part of it,” Sidie-Wagner said.
Adi Penagonda, a University of Minnesota student and campaign worker for Dehn, said the numbers did not look great for a Dehn victory, but was optimistic about election outcomes.
“It's important that new voices are heard. We're getting record turnouts in student precincts and that's something that had never happened before,” Penagonda said. “I've been organizing at the U for elections for the past couple of years, and this is something that takes multiple years. It feels good to see people in these precincts getting involved."
Dehn was endorsed by the Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Young DFL, Our Revolution National and state Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis.
Dehn has focused on affordable housing and policing in Minneapolis in his time as a state representative. He also serves on a public safety committee and passed a 2014 bonding bill to help developers build low-cost housing, according to past Minnesota Daily coverage.