St. Paul City Council member Lee Helgen was denied endorsement by DFL party activists at Tuesday night’s Ward 5 convention. The tw0-term incumbent led on all four ballots over challenger Amy Brendmoen, but failed to clear the 60 percent threshold required for endorsement. No balloting was permitted after 9:45 because Como Senior High School, the site of the convention, needed be vacated.
Helgen and Brendmoen are now expected to square off in the general election, which will feature instant-runoff voting for the first time. No other known challengers for the post have emerged.
Brendmoen worked in the attorney general’s office for 11 years. She currently serves as director of communication for the Children’s Home Society & Family Services.
Helgen has twice survived tight election battles. In 2007 he defeated David Haas by 141 votes. Four years earlier he edged Kris Reiter (running on the ballot line of her deceased father, Jim Reiter) by just 52 votes.