Mayoral candidates protest debate exclusion

Liz Kohman

Minneapolis mayoral candidates Leslie Davis and Mark Koscielski plan to protest a mayoral debate airing on KTCA-TV at 6 p.m.

The debate – co-sponsored by the Star Tribune – includes Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton and candidates Mark Stenglein, Lisa McDonald and R.T. Rybak.

The Star Tribune published the criteria for debating on July 29 and told Davis he couldn’t debate because his campaign wasn’t active enough.

“I don’t have the special interest money that Mark Stenglein has,” Davis said. “But we have a presence in the community.”

Davis accused the Star Tribune of fixing the election for its favorite candidates, noting none of the debaters address any of his issues.

Koscielski said he will protest because every candidate should be included, not just the most liberal.

KTCA-TV executive producer Brendan Henehan said picking candidates in the pre-primaries is hard – especially when there are 22 of them.

“You’d love to hear from all the candidates,” Henehan said, “but in reality we have an hour and we have to limit it to those most likely to become mayor.”


– Liz Kohman