Steve Fletcher wins Ward 3 Council seat

The DFL-endorsed University of Minnesota alumnus won with second-choice votes.

Steve Fletcher speaks with the Minnesota Daily during his Election Day party at Mac's Industrial Sports Bar on Nov. 7.

Jack Rodgers

Steve Fletcher speaks with the Minnesota Daily during his Election Day party at Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar on Nov. 7.

Michael Achterling

Steve Fletcher has won the Ward 3 City Council race, defeating Socialist Alternative candidate Ginger Jentzen on the third-round of ranked-choice tabulation.

Fletcher received 4,861 votes, putting him over the top of the 4,797 votes needed for election.

The race was highly contested, with three candidates finishing election night’s first-choice ballot separated by 745 votes of the 9,592 total votes cast.

On election night, Jentzen’s crowd was energized by their candidate’s lead going into the ranked tabulation, but Fletcher was optimistic.

“I’m pretty sure we won this race,” Fletcher said to a cheering crowd of about 30 people at Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar Tuesday night.

Samantha Pree-Stinson, Ward 3’s Green Party candidate, was eliminated in the first round of ranked-choice counting, with her 1,007 votes split primarily between Fletcher and Jentzen.

With Jentzen leading 3,598 votes to Fletcher’s 3,103 after round-one, the next candidate eliminated was Tim Bildsoe, a 16-year city council member from Plymouth.

Bildsoe’s 2,734 votes were distributed via ranked-choice. Fletcher secured 1,758 of those votes, while Jentzen received 246.

Fletcher received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota and state Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minneapolis, among others. Fletcher’s platform centered on affordable housing and social justice issues.

Fletcher will be sworn-in as the Ward 3 Minneapolis city council member in January.