Councilman Samuels will run for Hennepin County seat

Ward 5 Councilman Don Samuels will run for the Hennepin County Board Commissioners seat in November

John Hageman

Minneapolis City Councilman Don Samuels will run for the soon-to-be vacant Hennepin County Board of Commissioners seat left behind by Mark Stenglein.

Samuels made the announcement on his Facebook page Monday morning.

“What a great opportunity this will be, to shift the focus of county efforts from assistance to transformation,” Samuels wrote. “I am thrilled at the prospect and I ask for your support.”

On Friday, Stenglein was named the next president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, an influential business association. Stenglein will take over his new position June 1, and his vacant seat will be filled after a general election in November.

State Sen. Kari Dziedzic, who represents the University of Minnesota area, was Stenglein’s policy aide before winning a special election in January.

State Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis, has already announced that she will run for the seat.

Samuels represents Ward 5 in northwest Minneapolis, which experienced some of the worst devastation from a tornado in May. He was first elected to the council in 2003.

Samuels emigrated from Jamaica in 1970 to study industrial design. After starting his own toy design business, he graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2001 from the Luther Seminary.