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The next mayor of Minneapolis is still TBD, but it's looking to favor Mayor Jacob Frey. 

As of Tuesday night, no candidate had secured more than 50% of first-choice votes on Minneapolis' ranked-choice ballot, so elections officials will continue to tabulate the results on Wednesday. 

While a winner hasn't been declared, incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey is leading with 42.79% of first-choice votes with every precinct reporting, the Secretary of State's website shows.

His two main challengers, Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth, have the next highest percentages of first-choice votes. Nezhad has 21.12% and Knuth has 18.41%. 

Because no candidate secured 50% of the first-choice votes, additional tabulation is required. Elections officials said they plan to declare an unofficial winner in the mayor's race "as soon as possible," likely by Wednesday afternoon. 

In order to determine an official winner, election officials will tabulate the votes in a series of rounds with the lowest-ranked candidate eliminated and the votes they received redistributed to the candidate who was ranked next on the ballot.

If this results in a candidate getting 50% of the votes, they're declared the winner. If it doesn't, the process continues until a candidate gets at least 50% of the vote. 

This video offers visualization for how ranked-choice ballots are counted:

Frey, 40, is seeking a second four-year term as mayor of Minneapolis after a tumultuous year and a half that included the murder of George Floyd and subsequent unrest, ongoing questions about aggressive police officer behavior, an internal "pullback" within the Minneapolis Police Department, and the still-simmering COVID-19 pandemic.

He was among 17 candidates on the ballot, with his top two challengers being Nezhad, 33, and Knuth, 40. They have both been critical of the mayor and encouraged their supporters to rank the other candidate second on their ballots — and leave Frey off. 

Nezhad is a community organizer who said city leadership has "failed to meet the challenges" of the past 18 months. Her campaign has focused on the need to change policing in Minneapolis so everyone is safe. Knuth is a former state representative and sustainability scientist who criticized Frey for failing to lead and leaving the city more divided and less safe. 

Related: Minneapolis' Ballot Question 1 passes, shifting more power from city council to mayor

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Frey has remained staunchly opposed to the ballot question that would have replaced the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety (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 intended to vote no on the "strong mayor" question (a decision Knuth recently came to).

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