2021 Jewish Candidate Election Day Roundup

Minnetonka City Councilmember Deb Calvert won re-election Tuesday night with more than 54 percent of the vote — nullifying the need to go to the second choice in the first year of that city’s ranked-choice voting (RCV). 

“I’m very relieved. This was a tough one,” Calvert said Tuesday night. The race became more heated than Calvert expected; at the August filing deadline, six candidates — three for each of the two at-large city council seats — filed to get on the ballot and ran as a slate to get one for each seat. 

“They sent out a lit piece that is being litigated in Administrative Law Court because a resident fielded a complaint because it looked like a city mailer,” she said. “I had to work my tush off because I had a lot of competition.”

Calvert’s race was one of only a handful in the Twin Cities metro area that involved Jewish candidates.

Also in Minnetonka, Hopkins school board member John Kuhl lost in his attempt to unseat Mayor Brad Wiersum. Kuhl took 37 percent of the vote. Kuhl thanked the community for coming out to vote. 

“While the outcome was not what I hoped, we should all be proud that over 11,000 of us turned out at the polls today. Over 4,000 of us sent a message to City Hall that change is needed and this change will come,” Kuhl said in statement Tuesday night. “ I called Mayor Wiersum earlier this evening with my congratulations and wish him and our city the best in the next four years.”

In Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis’ second-ever Jewish mayor, won re-election over a very crowded field, the city’s election department declared on Wednesday afternoon. Frey did not clear 50 percent of the first-choice vote in RCV, which led to the delay in the declaration. Voters can rank up to three selections for the mayor and each city council seat. Frey won on the second-choice balloting, defeating his nearest challenger Kate Knuth.

One race where RCV didn’t matter was in Ward 7, where City Councilwoman Lisa Goodman won re-election with nearly 62 percent of first-choice votes. Goodman, a board member at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, has served Ward 7 on the Minneapolis City Council since 1998.