DFLer Hofstede prevails in Ward 3 City Council election

Kevin McCahill

Minneapolis voters chose Diane Hofstede to be the next Ward 3 City Council member Tuesday.

Hofstede won by a preliminary total of 2,407 votes to 946 votes, according to the city of Minneapolis Web site. The results directly affect many University students, as Ward 3 now encompasses the Dinkytown and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods.

“I want to thank everyone for voting,” Hofstede said. “And I want to thank Aaron (Neumann) for a good race.”

It was a race of opposites in Ward 3, with two candidates playing divergent roles.

There was DFL candidate Hofstede, the proven financial workhorse who has played an instrumental role in creating the new downtown Minneapolis Library. And Aaron Neumann, the young, outspoken, new face whose strong Green Party loyalty advocated a healthy environment and community, and marijuana legalization.

Hofstede won the Sept. 13 primary with 1,063 votes. Neumann took second with 278 votes.

Hofstede has a long career with the city of Minneapolis. She has been a member of the Minneapolis Public Library Board, chairwoman of the Neighborhood Revitalization Policy Board and in 1998 was the recipient of the Minneapolis Award for Outstanding Service to the City. She is a member of the Neighborhood Revitalization Policy Board.

“I feel we all have worked very, very hard and I’ve worked hard in the community and have done many positive things,” Hofstede said.

Ward 2 Council member Paul Zerby, who decided against running for re-election, has worked with University-area neighborhoods, some of which will now be part of Ward 3. Zerby, a DFLer, supported Hofstede but, regardless, wanted the winner to pay close attention to the University and its students.

“I think Hofstede will represent the Ward capably and is pretty well-connected politically,” Zerby said.

He said Marcy-Holmes has a strong connection to the University and its issues and hopes the incoming candidate will continue a dialogue with University officials and neighborhood leaders in other student neighborhoods like Southeast Como and Prospect Park.

In order to drum up support, Neumann spent the weekend camping out in public spaces around Minneapolis. On Saturday, Minneapolis police didn’t let Neumann camp out on public property, but he found a home Sunday night in the parking lot of a church.

He supports the addition of more officers to the police department and extending more support to the poor by offering housing and low-interest loans.

Neumann worked as a co-organizer of the Medical Marijuana Forum in 2001 and as part of the 5th District Green Party Steering Committee in 2002.

“I believe deeply we need to start a legacy for our grandchildren,” he said. “One with a city that is clean and green.”

Neumann said he believes the effort he has put in has been worth the work.

“It’s a victory regardless,” he said. “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about moving the message forward. It’s Malcolm (X)’s message, it’s Martin (Luther King Jr.)’s message and it’s (Paul) Wellstone’s message.”