Councilwoman Betsy Hodges Wins Mpls. Mayoral Race

Updated: 11/08/2013 7:33 AM By: Leslie Dyste

Betsy Hodges
Betsy Hodges
Photo: AP Photo/Jerry Holt/The Star Tribune

Betsy Hodges, a Democratic member of the Minneapolis City Council, has been elected as the mayor of Minnesota's largest city.

The city of Minneapolis made the announcement just after 10 p.m. Thursday, more than 50 hours since the polls had closed.

Hodges emerged as the winner with 38,870 votes, or 48.95 percent. She received the most votes of the 35 candidates but fell shy of an outright majority.

In second place, Mark Andrew finished with 24,972 votes, or 31.44 percent.
Minneapolis uses ranked-choice voting, which lets people make up to three choices of candidates on their ballots. This is the second mayoral race in which Minneapolis has used ranked-choice voting, but a bigger test of the system than Rybak's walkover win in 2009.
The 44-year-old Hodges has served on the council since 2006. She has chaired its influential budget committee since 2010, where she has been an ally of Mayor R.T. Rybak. She did split from Rybak by voting against city funding for the Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Rybak decided against seeking a fourth term. While he praised Hodges and several other candidates, Rybak stayed neutral.

The results will still need to be certified.

Hodges released the following statement:

“I want to thank my opponents, many of whom I have spoken with over the past few days. They all waged fine campaigns and it is an honor to have been in the field with them. And thank you so much to the people of Minneapolis for the faith you have placed in me to be your next Mayor.

“R.T. Rybak is the Mayor until January second – and you can tell because he has a big agenda he is working on until the end, and I will support him in that work the best I can.

“I look forward to working together to build a city by everybody, for everybody, and with everybody.  When we do that, we become a city that is greater than the sum of its parts. Together we have a future that is far, far better than what we could do separated.

“I could not have gotten to this point alone. It would have been impossible to reach all parts of this city with our message without a lot of people carrying that message.

“Together with a coalition of the most effective progressive grassroots movement-builders, our staff and supporters have worked tirelessly to get us where we are and I am humbled by the enormity of their efforts.

“John F. Kennedy said, ‘As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’

“On January Second it will be my job to live my gratitude by doing what I said I’d do: Work with you, the community, to build and grow Minneapolis. To bring more people here based on the common ground, building on our progress to create an ever greater city as one Minneapolis.”

Mayor Rybak congratulated Mayor-elect Hodges. He released the following statement:

“Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges has been a strong partner over these years in City Hall. I’ve seen first-hand that she is an effective advocate both for the needs of the City, and in moving the levers of government at all levels to improve people’s lives.” Mayor Rybak said. “The Mayor-elect's commitment to closing gaps in our city is rock-solid, and I particularly look forward to working with her on ending the achievement gap and making sure that all our children and our entire region succeed in the 21st century.”

Mayor Rybak continued, “My staff and I look forward to working with her staff and her over the next two months to ensure an effective transition, so that she hits the ground running for the people of Minneapolis.”

Click here for more election results.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.