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The filing period to run for public office in West St. Paul closed today and we now know who is running for election in 2020.
We’ve been tracking this for two months and while we now have the list of those who have officially filed, they still have until June 4 to change their mind and drop out. That happened in 2018, so this list could still change.
Who’s Running in 2020
Here’s the rundown:
four three-way race for Mayor, which will prompt a primary on August 11. The top two candidates will advance to the November election.
- Dave Napier (incumbent) (campaign site)
- Jonathan Diamond
- Kimetha Johnson (campaign site)
Jeramie Torkelson(dropped out, but will still appear on the ballot)
City Council Ward 1
City Council Ward 2
- Anthony Fernandez (incumbent)
- Robyn Gulley (campaign site)
City Council Ward 3
- Lisa Eng-Sarne (incumbent) (campaign site)
- David Meisinger
Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor
This is a county and not a city race, but it looks like Laura Zanmiller is running unopposed for SWCD supervisor.
Let’s give some context to this year’s election by diving into the super-detailed stats.
- Women: This is the first time ever that women are running in all four races in West St. Paul. If at least two of the women running for City Council win, West St. Paul’s City Council will have more women serving at one time than ever before. If all three women win, City Council will be majority female for the first time ever. Now 12 women have run for office in West St. Paul going back to 1988—a 33% increase. In the same time period, 69 men have run for office.
- More firsts: It’s harder to track racial stats in these races (because no one reports or tracks them), but I think Kimetha Johnson might be the first black person to run for office in West St. Paul, certainly the only black woman going back to 1988. If she won, she’d be the first black elected official in West St. Paul. Anthony Fernandez, running for re-election, became the first Latino and likely first person of color elected to public office in West St. Paul in 2016. If he wins, he’d be the first person of color to serve more than one term.
- Incumbents: This is the first time since 1998 that all four incumbents have run for re-election.
- Contested: Since all four races are contested this year, this drops our uncontested percentage from 35.9% to 33.8% going back to 1988. This is only the sixth time since 1988 when all four races are contested.
This is the most candidates running for mayor since 2004 when six candidates ran (assuming nobody drops out).Officially there are four candidates on the ballot, so it is the most candidates on the ballot since 2004. But with Torkelson dropping out, we’re down to three candidates, the same number on the ballot in 2016. The last mayoral primary was 2016.
- Non-council mayor: We have
threetwo candidates running for mayor who have not previously served on City Council. The last non-council mayor to win? Michael Bisanz. He’s also the longest serving mayor with 6 terms (12 years).
- Streak: The streak of no primaries in ward 2 since 1996 continues. (The eventual winner of that race? Current ward 3 candidate David Meisinger.)
- In a row: This is the fourth election in a row where David Meisinger is on the ballot. He ran for mayor in 2014 and won, ran for mayor in 2016 and lost, ran for ward 3 city council in 2018 and lost, and is now running for ward 3 city council again (fifth election if you count a failed primary run for State Senate in 2012).
Remember that candidates have until June 4 to change their mind and drop out, so things could change.
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