Robin Wonsley Worlobah wins Ward 2, incumbents unseated in Wards 1 and 3

University area voters unseated three incumbent candidates.

by Minnesota Daily Staff

University area voters elected Robin Wonsley Worlobah as Ward 2 City Council member by a margin of 19 votes, unseating 15-year incumbent Cam Gordon. 

In Wards 1 and 3, both incumbent candidates were unseated, and Elliot Payne and Michael Rainville were elected. Jamal Osman of Ward 6 was re-elected to his position by over 20% of first choice votes. 

This is the first election after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and murder of George Floyd. Public safety and police reform is at the top of many candidates’ list of priorities. 

Ward 2 

The race in Ward 2 came down to Wonsley Worlobah and Yusra Arab, and was decided by a slim margin of 19 votes. Incumbent Gordon was eliminated in the second round of tabulation.

Wonsley Worlobah has experience working for 15 Now Minnesota, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Twin Cities Justice for Jamar Clark Coalition. As City Council member, she plans on opening a Ward 2 community office, hosting student meetings and engaging in participatory budgeting.

Ward 2 includes parts of Southeast Como and Cedar-Riverside, Prospect Park and Seward. It is a diverse part of the city and houses a large student population, as well as Hmong and East African immigrants in Cedar-Riverside and Prospect Park. 

Of the total Ward 2 voters, 1,820 people voted early, according to the Minneapolis website

Gordon has been in office since 2006 and helped co-author the city question three on rent stabilization, which passed Tuesday night.

Arab raised the most money for her campaign by far at about $116,000 since January, compared to Cam Gordon, who raised $20,000. Wonsley Worlobah raised about $77,000. 

Ward 3 

Michael Rainville defeated incumbent member Steve Fletcher by about 9% of final round votes. 

Of the total Ward 3 voters, nearly 4,000 voted early or mailed in their ballots, which was the most of any ward in Minneapolis. Ward 3 includes Marcy-Holmes, Dinkytown, parts of Downtown and Northeast Minneapolis. 

Michael Rainville is a life-long resident of Minneapolis and was a member of the Saint Anthony West Neighborhood Association. As a Council member, Rainville does not support defunding the police. 

Rainville raised three times as much money as Fletcher, and spent twice as much. Two other candidates also ran, but they were eliminated in the second round of tabulation. 

Ward 6

Ward 6 includes Cedar-Riverside and Seward, as well as four other neighborhoods. It includes the Twin Cities’ largest East African community. 

Jamal Osman is the incumbent candidate after he was elected in a special election in 2020. On his campaign website, Osman said he is focused on finding solutions to mental health issues, specifically including opioid recovery programs, and on building more affordable housing. 

Osman ran against one other candidate, Abdirizak Bihi, who he beat in his 2020 race as well. Osman raised about $20,000 for his campaign since January, but Bihi did not raise any money for his campaign.

Ward 1 

Incumbent Kevin Reich lost by 5% of final round votes to Elliott Payne. Payne is from Northeast Minneapolis and supports public safety options outside of the police force. 

Ward 1 includes Como and other parts of Northeast Minneapolis. 

Payne and Reich raised and spent about the same amount of money on their campaigns. Reich has been in office since 2009. 

Lydia Morell and Emalyn Muzzy contributed to this report