Kathir concedes to Hofstede, Gordon rolls to re-election

Hofstede won 66 percent of the votes in Ward 3 and Gordon won 84 percent of the votes in Ward 2.

Kathir concedes to Hofstede, Gordon rolls to re-election

Anissa Stocks

Cam Gordon and Diane Hofstede, the incumbent City Council members for Wards 2 and 3, easily won re-election Tuesday night in a lightly-attended election. Ward 3 DFL incumbent Diane Hofstede was challenged by Republican Jeffrey Cobia and fellow DFLer Allen Kathir, who both have a strong following from students, and Melissa Hill, who ran unendorsed under the âÄúCivil DisobedienceâÄù brand. An early Hofstede lead forced Kathir and Cobia to recognize that she would take the election. âÄúLow voter turnout is really something [that drove HofstedeâÄôs victory], and [that] needs to be addressed,âÄù Kathir said. He said he hopes Hofstede will take some of his campaign platforms to heart. âÄúI feel that students need to be more in tune with local government,âÄù Kathir said. Hofstede, who won Ward 3 with 66 percent of the votes, said her campaign pushed for active participation and was positive throughout. âÄúI work well with the neighborhoods,âÄù she said. âÄúI have a joint vision that transcends [negativity].âÄù In MinneapolisâÄô Ward 2, Green Party incumbent Cam Gordon received 84 percent of the votes, defeating Independent candidate Allen A. Aigbogun. Election officials said there is a need for more voter participation in Minneapolis wards. Carol Vanhale, chair election judge for the Coffman Union polling venue, said most municipal elections donâÄôt see a large student turnout. âÄúStudents donâÄôt really have a stake in local elections,âÄù she said. âÄúTheyâÄôre usually not parents or property owners and donâÄôt necessarily care about the school board or parks elections.âÄù Coffman Union brought in only 40 voters, but steered away more than 35 who were not registered as Minneapolis Ward 2 residents. âÄúThis happens each election,âÄù she said. âÄúSome people want it to be easy, but [they donâÄôt understand] how local elections work.âÄù Each precinct has nearly 2,000 residents, yet turnout decreased nearly 50 percent from 2005 results. âÄúThis is something that needs to be addressed in Minneapolis,âÄù Cobia said. âÄúCity government officials represent citizens. Educating students before October is vital.âÄù Jane Strauss, an election judge at Coffman, said few people care about local elections. She said it is the job of election judges to aid in whatever questions voters may have regardless of voter turnout. âÄúWe are the guardians of democracy,âÄù she said. âÄúMost students understood how the process works,âÄù Strauss said. âÄúI donâÄôt blame people for not turning out to vote.âÄù Vanhale said local elections donâÄôt have the appeal a statewide or national election has. âÄúIn past years, weâÄôve had students who are persistent coming more than once to prove their eligibility to vote,âÄù she said. âÄúThis year, it didnâÄôt happen.âÄù