Hodges controls Minneapolis mayor’s race; Andrew informally concedes

Defying predictions of a tight Minneapolis mayoral race, Council Member Betsy Hodges posted a lead so commanding on Tuesday night that her closest opponent, Mark Andrew, informally conceded less than two hours after polls closed.

Hodges won more than 36 percent of first-choice votes in the race, which used ranked-choice voting. That was more than 11 points ahead of Andrew, a former Hennepin County commissioner who had been among the leading contenders in the 35-candidate field.

Final results won’t be known until Wednesday, when second-and third-choice votes are tabulated. Andrew has said he won’t formally concede until then. But, he acknowledged, Hodges’ lead appeared hard to overcome. “She’s going to be an excellent mayor, and I look forward to working with her as the years go by,” he said at an election party at the Graves 601 Hotel.

Meanwhile, at El Nuevo Rodeo Restaurant, Hodges took the stage to tell 150 supporters crowded around her, “Here’s to today! And I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.”

Stepping off the stage, Hodges hugged and high-fived supporters, dancing as her husband and parents joined the celebration.

But, still cautious, Hodges warned the crowd, “We aren’t there yet.”

Tuesday’s results are a blow to the DFL establishment and municipal employee unions, which overwhelmingly supported Andrew’s campaign. Andrew and an affiliated group backed by unions far outspent Hodges, flooding homes with direct mail and running ads on cable TV. Hodges sent few mailers and never went on the air, but she worked at building a strong field operation.

Hodges had painted the race as a choice between the politics of the past, when Andrew served in public office, and a continuation of the policies of outgoing Mayor R.T. Rybak, with whom she worked closely on the council.

Read more at: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/230760571.html



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