Jacob Frey won the 3rd Ward DFL endorsement for Minneapolis City Council Saturday after incumbent Diane Hofstede withdrew from consideration, citing flaws in the system.
Frey, in between hugs from an onslaught of supporters after receiving the party’s backing, said he was thrilled to receive the endorsement with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Speaking to a sea of red-shirted Frey supporters at DeLaSalle High School in northeast Minneapolis, Hofstede said some of her constituents were disrespected and unable to participate fully in the precinct caucuses to elect delegates in early April.
But the former Team USA runner’s path to City Hall isn’t without hurdles, as Hofstede said she’ll continue on with her campaign.
“I will take my campaign to the people and let them decide,” Hofstede told the crowd, suggesting the convention goers didn’t accurately reflect the ward as a whole.
She had previously said that she’d abide by the endorsement, and her change of heart angered some in attendance.
“She was going to respect the endorsement when she thought she was going to win it,” said Frey supporter Christopher Meyer. “As soon as she realized she wouldn’t, she changed her mind.”
Frey said he was disappointed Hofstede decided not to abide by the endorsement, but hopes she’ll come around and support his campaign.
A robust campaign of her own is in her sights, however. She said many East African and older supporters of hers were mistreated and kept from participating in the day’s convention. Those concerns led her to withdraw from the endorsement process.
“There are just too many irregularities with this caucus system,” she said.
Frey supporters questioned the merits of her concerns, and said they hadn’t noticed any issues.
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, who supports Hofstede, said she was at various precinct caucuses earlier in the month and noticed the problems Hofstede was referring to.
Kahn said large groups of pro-Hofstede Somalis showed up, but surprisingly few of them were on the convention floor Saturday morning.
“None of them ended up being delegates,” she said, indicating that something in the process cut them out.
Though Kahn is a Hofstede supporter, she said she wished the councilwoman would’ve at least waited to withdraw until after the question and answer section of the convention.
“I think that would’ve shown what a deeper insight she has into the city,” she said.
‘Frey’s our guy’
Despite an opponent gearing up a full campaign to beat him, the day was a good one for Frey.
After Hofstede dropped out, he gave an impassioned speech rallying his supporters about the strides the 3rd Ward can take under his watch.
One supporter, matching his passion, yelled “I love you, bro,” to Frey, to which the newly endorsed candidate responded, “I love you right back.”
Frey’s accessibility, willingness to listen and closeness to his supporters have been cited consistently by his supporters as strong leadership qualities.
Frey lauded the work his supporters have done so far, and said regardless of Hofstede’s intentions he fully expects to win in November.
“We’ve got a grass-roots organization that’s growing every day,” he said.
Frey said it was thrilling to win the endorsement, and he couldn’t be more proud of his staff.