Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has announced he will run for reelection in 2021.
Frey, who beat former Mayor Betsy Hodges in the 2017 election, has confirmed he will run again this year, launching his reelection campaign with endorsements from, among others, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
After a turbulent year in Minneapolis history, Frey has found himself a target for criticism from the left over how he handled the George Floyd protests and riots, and criticism from the right over how he handled the George Floyd protests and riots.
Frey rode to victory in 2017 after former Mayor Hodges herself found herself under the microscope over her administration's response to the 2015 Jamar Clark killing by police and the subsequent siege outside the 4th Police Precinct, as well as the death of Justine Damond at the hands of police in 2017.
It is likely that police concerns will dominate Frey's reelection effort too as the fallout continues from Floyd's death during his arrest last May, which sparked widespread protests and civil unrest and culminated in the burning down of the 3rd Police Precinct.
As well as being criticized at the time by Gov. Tim Walz for not requesting the Minnesota National Guard swiftly enough as rioting swept the city's south side, Frey has subsequently been criticized by progressive activists in the city for opposing some of the more significant changes to Minneapolis Police Department. This includes a plan by some city council members to dismantle MPD and replace it with a new Public Safety Department that would enact alternative approaches to law enforcement and crime prevention.
Frey continues to back police chief Medaria Arradondo and opposes reductions in police officer numbers, and highlights his opposition to the dismantling of MPD despite pressure from the city council as one of his successes in office.
Frey has the endorsement of Keith Ellison, despite his son – Ward 5 Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison – being among the leading voices calling for the replacement of MPD.
In a statement along with Frey's announcement, Keith Ellison says the Mayor has "showed true, collaborative leadership" and is "working to bridge our differences to move our city forward."
Frey said: "Over the last four years, we’ve confronted opportunity and hardship together.
"We’ve cemented our values in policy by building and preserving record levels of affordable housing throughout our city and spearheading new, targeted initiatives that help create a more inclusive economy. We’ve also faced unprecedented challenges and calls for necessary structural change. I look forward to continuing to serve Minneapolis as we move into a new era with a shared commitment to build a more vibrant and just city."
Frey highlighted some of his achievements during his first term, including investing $70 million of city funding into affordable housing. He also highlights some of his police reforms, including a ban on warrior-style training for officers, enacting rules governing the use of "no-knock" warrants, and revising the MPD's body camera policy.
He also noted how Minneapolis was the first city in Minnesota to enact an indoor mask-wearing requirement in response to COVID-19.