University donors favor Andrew, Hodges

More than 30 faculty and staff contributed to mayoral races.

University donors favor Andrew, Hodges

Alexandria Chhith

Thirty-one University of Minnesota faculty and staff members have contributed to candidates running for mayor of Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Elections Division.

Most of the listed contributions went to DFL candidates Betsy Hodges, ward 13 councilwoman, and former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew, who are topping mayoral fundraising lists.

The rest of the contributions from University faculty and staff members went to Councilman Don Samuels, an independent candidate, and former councilwoman Jackie Cherryhomes.

Thirty-five candidates are running to replace Mayor R.T. Rybak, and it’s currently unclear who has the lead among voters.

Andrew is leading with $272,145, and Hodges sits at $188,774 in fundraising dollars from individual contributions.

Eleven University faculty and staff members donated a combined $3,650 to Andrew’s campaign, and 15 donated $3,575 to Hodges’. Don Samuels, meanwhile, has raised a total of $101,602, including $825 combined from five University employees.

One employee who donated to Hodges also contributed $250 to Cherryhomes.

Jay Cohn, a University medical professor, gave $500 — the maximum amount one contributor can donate — to Andrew. Five other University employees contributed the maximum amount.

Cohn said he supports Andrew’s views on issues concerning the environment, the economy and health care.

“Andrew has a vision for the community,” he said. “He brings a grasp of larger issues.”

Jay Kiedrowski, a senior fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, lives in Hodges’ ward and contributed to her mayoral campaign.

“She has been a good councilperson in our area. She brings a fresh perspective to City Hall,” he said.

Despite the high amount of electoral funding by Andrew and Hodges, a Star Tribune poll administered Sept. 8-10 suggests that Samuels and Cohen are slightly favored among voters.

Cohen has only raised $1,176 in individual funds but is tied with Samuels at 16 percent in the poll.

Hodges polled at 14 percent and Andrew at 10 percent.

Pulse Opinion Research conducted the poll — which has a sampling error of 3.5 percent — among 800 likely voters.

The next wave of campaign finance reports will be released Oct. 29, and the election will be held Nov. 5.