Skip to main content

Two of the leading candidates challenging Jacob Frey made a public declaration Wednesday to rank each other as their second choice.

Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad made the announcement Wednesday morning, pledging to list the other as No. 2 on their ranked-choice ballots. Both also urged voters to do the same, while simultaneously criticizing the current Minneapolis mayor.

Nezhad, a 33-year-old community organizer, said the current city leadership has "failed to meet the challenges" of the past 18 months, and said her opponent, Knuth, would be a "welcome change" at City Hall.

Knuth, meanwhile, praised Nezhad for her "commitment to true public safety for everyone." The 40-year-old former state representative and sustainability scientist also said she will not include Frey in any position on her ballot, writing: "His failure to lead throughout this year-and-a-half-long crisis has left us more divided and less safe and has left Minneapolis’ national and international reputation at rock bottom."

The two mayoral candidates are the latest Democrats to denounce Frey, a fellow DFLer who is wrapping up a first term that took place during a tumultuous time in the city. That included the murder of George Floyd and subsequent unrest, ongoing questions about aggressive officer behavior and an internal "pullback" within the Minneapolis Police Department and the still-simmering COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the public denouncing from Knuth and Nezhad, Frey's campaign released a statement accusing his challengers of shifting their opinions on police funding, decrying "the limitations of cheap slogans and the reactionary politics of the defund push."

“I’ve led with principle and told voters the truth — regardless of what’s popular,” Frey said in his rbeuttal. “Amid a field of candidates jockeying to speak for the Black community and those most impacted by crime and police misconduct, I’ve been listening. That is the fundamental difference between my approach and my opponents’.”

In response to this, Knuth tweeted: "Frey knows he’s lying and fear-mongering. I've repeatedly pledged to maintain police staffing levels for at least two years, and expand public safety funding. The police department isn't going anywhere as long as I'm mayor. Our police force has shrunk because of Frey's mismanagement. We have become less safe during the years the mayor has had exclusive control over the police."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Frey has received some high-profile endorsements from local leaders, including Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison, as well as various workers' unions. But both Knuth and Nezhad were this week endorsed by Minnesota's 5th District Rep. Ilhan Omar.

He remains staunchly opposed to the ballot question that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety that would include police officers (though does support the creation of such a department). He has also expressed support for the first ballot question, which would consolidate more departmental power under the mayor (though the mayor already has full authority over MPD).

Both Knuth and Nezhad feel the opposite, having expressed support for the Department of Public Safety-related charter amendment, and saying they intend to vote no on the "strong mayor" question (a decision Knuth recently came to).

Next Up

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.

tap-gf9a40b157_1280

Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.

PicketSignsNurseStrike

Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 7.34.26 AM

Man dies after shooting on St. Paul's East Side

It happened on the same night a man was fatally shot by police in the nearby Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.

Police tape

St. Paul police hit man with squad car, fatally shoot him

Police said officers responded to a domestic incident involving the suspect Monday night.

RogerEbnetMugshotYellowStone

Charges: Minnesota elementary school teacher sexually assaulted 3 boys

The incidents were captured on video taken inside an elementary school classroom.

Police tape

Person shot by police in St. Paul Monday evening

It happened around 6:10 p.m. on the city's East Side.

Kollie Jr.

Woman killed in Moorhead identified as suspect's mother

An appeal has been issued to find the suspect's vehicle, which remains missing.

Hamilton

Ticket details released for 5-week run of 'Hamilton' in Minneapolis

The tour of the production has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.

GummiesDeathByGummyBears

Minnesota Board of Pharmacy files lawsuit against 3 THC edible retailers

The board has received 46 complaints in the past four months regarding the products.

Related

hodges-tweet-frey-1-SQUARE CROP

Hodges accuses Frey of falsely claiming she supports 'strong mayor' amendment

"Please know that if you have been told this, it is a lie: I have no position on the amendment," Hodges tweeted.

minneapolis mayor - Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse a candidate for mayor

Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey finished first and second, respectively, in the endorsement process.

Flickr - QFamily - Ben Jerrys

Latest to wade into Mpls. Question 2 debate is ... Ben & Jerry's?

The ice cream business said it supports the creation of a Department of Public Safety.

kate knuth

Former DFL state Rep. Knuth announces run for Minneapolis mayor

She is among those challenging Mayor Frey in November.

mayor jacob frey

Jacob Frey re-elected as Minneapolis mayor

After two rounds of tabulation, Frey was named the winner of the ranked-choice ballot.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey planning to run for reelection

Frey said in a radio interview that 2020 has been a "horrible" year.