Former DFL state Rep. Knuth announces run for Minneapolis mayor

She is among those challenging Mayor Frey in November.
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Another person has announced they're challenging Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey in the November election. 

Kate Knuth, a former DFL state representative, announced Tuesday she is running for mayor of Minneapolis so she can "build a path forward with you to a better, just future for Minneapolis," her campaign website says.

Knuth joins Sheila June Nezhad, a community organizer, in announcing they're challenging Frey in the November election. 

"I want to lead us through the process of creating a new, better public safety system that honors the lives of all people," Knuth, who lives in Bryn Mawr with her husband and daughter, said in her campaign announcement. "I want us to lead on equitable climate action. I want all our residents to have homes."

Knuth, 39, represented Minnesota House District 50B, which includes portions of Anoka and Ramsey counties, from 2007-2012, where she focused much of her work on climate change, the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library says

The three-term legislator decided to leave the state legislature because she'd had enough of politics, saying it fell short of her expectations, including members failing to come together to talk about important things like climate action, MinnPost reported in 2012

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Knuth was respected among House members, which was evident on April 26, 2012, when Democrats and Republicans donned orange as a show of respect for the departing legislator. Knuth wore orange to the House floor every day of her tenure, MinnPost noted. 

In fact, Knuth has worn orange every day for more than two decades, saying on her website the color "brings her joy and wearing orange is an easy way to bring a little joy into each day."

And she continued the orange trend with her mayoral candidacy announcementcampaign website and her business' website, Democracy and Climate LLC

"I see this moment in our city as both a call to action and an opportunity," Knuth wrote in her campaign announcement posted to Twitter, noting her campaign will focus on "connecting the city's multicultural movements, vibrant neighborhoods, and engaged residents with the policymaking process and resources of city government."

She acknowledged that she doesn't have all the answers but she says this moment "calls for bold, courageous leadership, and real commitment to shaping a city where everyone – across neighborhoods and across race, faith, ability and gender – feels safe, valued and a part of our community."

Climate action, housing and public safety reform are among the areas Knuth is focusing on with her campaign. 

Police reform is going to be a central issue in the mayoral race this year following the killing of George Floyd by now-former Minneapolis police officers, which led to City Council members pushing to revamp the police department. 

Knuth does support a proposed charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a public safety department and reallocating funds from the current policing model but does not support removing all armed peace officers from the department. 

Knuth does have a history working with Frey. She held a grant-funded position as Minneapolis' chief resilience officer under Frey, tasked with responding to "challenges" that faced the city. 

But she stepped down after about seven months, apparently because she and the mayor had different visions for the job, Star Tribune reported in 2018.

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