How Minneapolis Ward Five Should Take a Lesson from St Paul Ward One

In the 2015 Special Election in St Paul Ward One, there were three African American candidates two Hmong candidates. The result was the election of Dai Thao (DFL), and the main reason the seat shifted from being a traditional African-American seat held by Bill Wilson, Jerry Blakey, Debbie Montgomery, and Melvin Carter III was due to the community failing to come together.

But because of Ranked Voting, the African-American community remained split and did not consolidate in the end. They lost out to Thao because their Effective Vote was diminished and the voters who supported Montgomery and Johnny Howard didn’t vote for Noel Nix.

The same scenario happened in Minneapolis Ward Five in 2013 and the stage is set to occur again. The Incumbent Blong Yang (DFL) has three challengers from the African-American community, which is clearly the largest voting bloc in this Ward.

If the supporters of Jeremiah Ellison (DFL), Cathy Spann (DFL), and Raeisha Williams (DFL) fail to cast their votes for each of the other African American candidates Vang will win reelection. Based on the fact Ellison, like Carter III in St Paul, has family members already in office father Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN05) and Minneapolis School Board member Kim Ellison (DFL) their name is well known in the community. By all reports we have gathered in spite of the lack of experience Ellison can grow into the job.

All three camps should instruct their voters to rank all three and let the chips fail where they may, but at least it will be on one side of the table.

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