No clear winner emerged in the competitive Minneapolis Ward 3 city council race Tuesday night.
Four candidates ran a close race in the ward, which covers the Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown neighborhoods. The council seat for the nearly 30,000-person district was left open by City Council Member Jacob Frey’s mayoral bid. Voters can expect an announcement with the winner Wednesday at the earliest, following rank-choice tabulation.
About 34 percent of first-choice votes went to Socialist Alternative candidate Ginger Jentzen — the most of the four candidates. DFL-endorsed candidate Steve Fletcher received 28.24 percent of first-choice votes, the second-most of the candidates. For second-choice votes, Fletcher finished first with 38.22 percent, while Jentzen finished last in second-choice votes with 13.65 percent.
Tuesday night, about 200 supporters talked and danced at a high-energy Jentzen election party.
“Regardless of the result of the election, the fight isn’t over,” Jentzen told a cheering crowd at the Ukrainian American Community Center. "Tonight, Minneapolis voted socialist."
Jentzen set a record for Minneapolis city council candidate fundraising, raising $156,688.52 as of Oct. 26. She pushed for rent control and police reform during her campaign and was endorsed by the Minnesota Nurses Association and Democratic Socialists of America, among other groups.
Fletcher won endorsements from U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota and State Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minneapolis, among others. Fletcher — whose platform centered on affordable housing and social justice issues — raised about $42,900 as of Oct. 26.
Supporters were enthusiastic at Fletcher’s election party late Tuesday. Many remained cautiously optimistic about the election results.
“I’m pretty sure we won this race,” Fletcher said to a cheering crowd of about 30 people at Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar Tuesday night.
Wells Fargo insurance manager and former Plymouth city council member Tim Bildsoe won nearly 27 percent of first-choice votes. His platform focused on affordable housing, support for small business and city infrastructure. As of Oct. 26, the North Loop Neighborhood Association president raised nearly $40,000. Bildsoe was endorsed by the Star Tribune.
Green Party candidate Samantha Pree-Stinson, who received about 10 percent of first-choice votes, campaigned on addressing inequities and affordable housing. The U.S. Army veteran and former educator raised nearly $22,000 as of Oct. 26. She won endorsements from mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds and Ward 2 City Council Member Cam Gordon, among others.
At an election party co-hosted by Levy-Pounds, energy levels remained high through Tuesday night. Pree-Stinson said she got more support than she could have imagined during the race.
“Regardless of outcome, this is a win tonight,” she said.
Frey was elected as Ward 3’s city council member in 2013, when he unseated the ward’s two-term incumbent. As a council member, he focused on constituent involvement and economic development.