Rybak’s mayoral non-campaign

Will Minneapolitans reward Rybak’s undemocratic bid with re-election?

With less than two weeks to go until the Minneapolis election, the lack of a mayoral campaign by incumbent R.T. Rybak probably leaves most city residents second-guessing: ThereâÄôs an election? Yes. There is, but DFL candidate R.T. Rybak is so busy with his budding gubernatorial bid that he hasnâÄôt had time to appear at a debate or public forum with any of his opponents. Before casting a ballot this year, city voters, especially those considering themselves Democrats, must ask if party truly comes before city. Can a man âÄî R.T. Rybak âÄî so focused on winning higher office even faithfully execute the job heâÄôs fated to receive: Mayor of Minneapolis. ItâÄôs a popular criticism right now as Minnesotans question whether presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as he single-handedly un-allots potential billions from the state budget, truly has the best interest of Minnesotans at heart. These are valid concerns, as Rybak will have attended more gubernatorial forums than mayoral ones by the Nov. 3 election. Just where is his focus? Fortunately, instant runoff voting has brought a healthy slate of competition to the fore. There is a candidate for everyone; former Green John Kolstad has been endorsed by Republicans and the Independence Party, for the âÄúmoderate progressive RepublicanâÄù crowd thereâÄôs Robert Carney, for job training and employment stability, the Al Flowers campaign offers direction. With a robust and diverse field of candidates, 2009 could be a watershed for municipal democratic involvement, but R.T. Rybak would rather undemocratically ignore his competition on the smug assumption of re-election.