November 08, 2017 06:36 PM
Jacob Frey has been elected the next mayor of Minneapolis, city officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
Frey was declared the unofficial winner following the fifth round of ranked-choice voting.
Shortly after the victory was announced, Frey, 36, acknowledged the toll it took to reach what was a potentially-record turnout for an off-year election.
"These campaigns are draining," he said. "You're going to get hit from all sides and we did. They attacked us for being too young, too ambitious and not from here. They attacked us for not being willing to take an ideologically pure position on every issue. But it's our position that's not the right way to run a city. Moving forward, the number one item on our docket is to start uniting."
Frey thanked campaign staff and volunteers at his northeast Minneapolis headquarters shortly after the results were posted. He congratulated them on a job well done and praised their hard work.
In speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Frey called for a clean slate with regard to city leadership while acknowledging current Mayor Betsy Hodges' work ethic.
"It was an honor to serve alongside Mayor Hodges in the city of Minneapolis," Frey said. "She has been an extraordinary public servant. And there's no doubt in my mind that she is going to do some outstanding things well into the future."
But Frey reiterated a call for change.
"I felt there needed to be a fresh start in this city. We needed somebody to work with a broad coalition.
"Being in public service ain't about being somebody, it's about doing something. Right now, more than ever, we need bridge builders – plural. We all need to come together collectively. We may differ slightly on policy. But we all share the same collective goals."
Hodges, who served one term as mayor, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon congratulating Frey and saying she was committed to a smooth transition. The statement read, in part:
"Serving as Mayor of Minneapolis is the greatest honor of my life. Thank you to my world-class supporters, volunteers, staff, friends, family, and the coalition of progressive organizations and leaders without whom I would not have had this incredible privilege. You have all been stronger, wiser, more talented, and more committed than I could have ever hoped for. And thank you, my beloved Minneapolis, from the bottom of my heart."
Turnout was high for an off-year election in the city. The Minneapolis City Clerk's office estimated a total voter turnout of 106,000 between day-of and ballots cast in advance of the election. That's 43 percent of eligible voters – 10 percent more than in 2013, the last off-year election. In 2009, 45,968 voters went to the polls, city data shows.
You can find Minneapolis' ranked-choice voting tabulation summary here.
Frey, a civil rights attorney and current City Council member, grew up in Virginia. He received a degree in government from the College of William and Mary before attending law school at Villanova University, his campaign website says.
A former professional runner, Frey developed a fondness for the city he will now lead when he visited Minneapolis to compete in the Twin Cities Marathon more than 10 years ago. He moved to the city upon graduation from Villanova.
He was elected to represent Minneapolis' third ward in 2013. His campaign website says the ward accounted for more than 65 percent of the city's growth during his tenure, and that "we've seen record numbers of small business openings."
The City Council will meet next week as the Municipal Canvassing Board to receive and certify the final results, at which point they will become official.
This story has been corrected to show that Frey was declared the unofficial winner after the fifth, not second, round of ranked-choice voting.
Stay tuned to KSTP.com and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for updates.
Michael Oakes and Kirsten Swanson
Updated: November 08, 2017 06:36 PM
Created: November 08, 2017 01:58 PM
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