The City Council race in the 13th Ward in Minneapolis now contains five candidates vying to replace Betsy Hodges, who is running for mayor of Minneapolis. Two candidates have filed since the municipal election deadline in July: Robert Reuer and David Regan. There have been many events in this race, including a debate and a ward convention that saw DFL-er Linea Palmisano walk away with the party endorsement. At the convention her challenger (and the only other candidate at the time) Matt Perry stated that he would abide by the DFL endorsement and suspend his campaign. However, a month later Perry was back in the race and a third candidate, Missy Durant, had also joined the fray. The Examiner followed up with the Perry campaign in August and now presents a similar check-in with the Linea Palmisano campaign.
A tall brunette woman who lives with her family in the Linden Hills neighborhood, Linea Palmisano has been involved in local organizations around Minneapolis for many years. She recently sat down with the Examiner regarding the Council campaign. Ms. Palmisano said she considered the Labor Day holiday a “crossing point” for the campaign and has noticed more involved voters as she door-knocks in various neighborhoods. She stated that she considers the campaign an “educational process” and that she has an interest in “what’s on people’s minds” as she campaigns. Reached for comment, Ward 13 resident Linda Ulbrich said that the candidate is “the real deal.” Ms. Ulbrich said she “doesn’t usually get excited about a candidate” but that she was “excited at the prospect that (Ms. Palmisano) could represent us.” The Examiner also spoke with Fred Mayer, a 13th Ward resident and member of a community organization founded by Ms. Palmisano, Southwest Pedal Power. Mr. Mayer said that he “admired Linea’s energy level,” saying she “gets things done and sticks to it.”
On whether she still considers the election to be a three-way race, Ms. Palmisano said she “takes seriously every filed candidate” and will “only participate in forums” in which all the candidates have been invited. She noted that “this year is unique” in that over thirty people are registered to run for mayor in Minneapolis and said that having multiple candidates in the race is “part of being a ranked-choice candidate.” For more information on ranked-choice voting and how it will be used in municipal elections click here.
When asked what sets her apart in the now-crowded field of candidates, Ms. Palmisano said she was the “only candidate that has fifteen years of applicable private sector experience and over a decade of community organizing experience in our ward.” She also stated that many of the endorsement screening organizations, which have interviewed the candidates, “would agree.” Both the Perry and Palmisano campaigns have received various endorsements throughout the race.
The interview then turned to some of the major issues in the 13th Ward. Asked about the recent tumultuous developments surrounding the Southwest Light Rail project, Ms. Palmisano said it was the “single biggest thing” about which ward residents contacted her. She stated her intention, if elected to the Council, to approve municipal consent and to make sure the project works for “the people in Minneapolis.” She also mentioned that if the co-location option is revived there are plenty of “betterment” tasks (such as the West Lake Street station) that could be undertaken along the route. Ms. Palmisano lamented that the communication between the different local government entities should have been better. For the other top issues in the ward, she listed “property tax, airplane noise, public safety, and education.” Other issues can be found on the candidate’s website.
Regarding the recent negotiations between the Minneapolis Energy Options campaign and the city (for more on this issue see the Examiner’s previous reporting), Ms. Palmisano stressed the point that MEO’s “end goal was not municipalization” but was to make the city take a look at its energy sources and “improving energy efficiency.” The candidate said the city’s recent Climate Action Plan was another step in the right direction of finding “measurable” goals for Minneapolis.
Finally, your Examiner asked the candidate to respond to Mr. Perry’s recent comments that perhaps the DFL endorsement was not as important to 13th Ward residents with ranked-choice ballots this year. Ms. Palmisano said she considered them “not in conflict” with each other and that the DFL endorsement process gained her 370 supporters in the ward. She also stated that “for a new candidate that is a sign of support, legitimacy and buy-in from the community” and that “promises you make within that process are important.” Ms. Palmisano stated that the endorsment’s “purpose is to solidify DFL support behind one candidate” and has nothing to do with ranked-choice voting.
Linea Palmisano is running for the Minneapolis City Council in the 13th Ward. Her two main candidates, Matt Perry and Missy Durant, did not respond to questions about the campaign by press time.