City DFL endorses for School Board

roosevelt high schoolBY ED FELIEN

Rebecca Gagnon easily won DFL endorsement for a second term on the Minneapolis School Board at the DFL City Convention at Roosevelt High on Saturday, April 26. She received 81% on the first ballot. Iris Altamirano, the political director of Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union, won endorsement for the second spot on the second ballot. She is running for the seat now held by Dick Mammen who is retiring after this term. There are two at-large, citywide seats open this fall.
The two other candidates vying for endorsement were Ira Jourdain and Andrew Minck. They are considering challenging the two endorsed candidates in the primary. Doug Mann, who is seeking Green Party endorsement, has said he will be a candidate in the primary, as has Dick Velner.
There will be an open seat in District 3 because incumbent Muhamed Noor is challenging Phyllis Kahn for a seat in the legislature. Siad Ali, the only candidate seeking DFL endorsement, won by acclamation. Ali works on the staff of Senator Amy Klobuchar.
The chair of the Minneapolis DFL, Dan McConnell, beat back a challenge from his vice chair, Roann Cramer, to win his third term. Questions of conflict of interest have arisen in the past because McConnell as head of the Building Trades will sometimes be at odds with DFL-endorsed candidates. This was most obvious when his union strongly supported the new Vikings stadium against the will of many DFL endorsed candidates. But, attesting to the strength of organized labor in the DFL, McConnell won 348 votes to 271 for Cramer.

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