On the final day of filing for the Minneapolis Senate seat being vacated by Larry Pogemiller, five more challengers climbed into the race. The field stands at eight candidates, including seven DFLers who will square off in a December 6 primary.
The new DFL challengers include former Minneapolis City Council member Paul Ostrow and Kari Dziedzic, daughter of legendary Northeast Minneapolis politician Walt Dziedzic. Kari Dziedzic currently works as a policy aid in the office of Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein.
Another intriguing challenger is Mohamud Noor, who ran for Minneapolis school board in 2010, garnering almost 11 percent of the vote in a 10-candidate field. If he can tap into the area’s significant Somali population Noor could be a strong contender in a crowded field. Rounding out the DFL field is Alicia Frosch, an organizer with Child Care WORKS. They join previously declared challengers Peter Wagenius, Cordelia Pierson and Jacob Frey. Candidates have until the close of business on Thursday to withdraw.
Ben Schwanke is the lone Republican in the contest. He’s a student at Augsburg College majoring in math education. Schwanke will face the winner of the DFL primary in the general election on January 10. “I’m running because I feel like in the political atmosphere we’re in right now we kind of need some fresh leadership and fresh ideas,” Schwanke tells PIM.
The special election to fill the Minneapolis seat vacated by Jeff Hayden in House District 61B added one candidate on the final day of filing: frequent Green Party challenger Farheen Hakeem. There are a total of six candidates in the contest, including four DFLers. They’ll also square off in a December 6 primary. Local DFLers have scheduled an endorsing convention for November 12. Last month Hayden won the Senate seat vacated by Linda Berglin, triggering another special election.