5 things to know about the new mayor of Minneapolis - Bring Me The News

5 things to know about the new mayor of Minneapolis

Jacob Frey replaces the incumbent Betsy Hodges.
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With the second and third choices votes now counted, Minneapolis has a new mayor.

Ward 3 council member Jacob Frey is now in the big chair, beating incumbent Betsy Hodges and fellow challenger Tom Hoch in a tightly-contested election that also saw other candidates Nekima Levy-Pounds and Raymond Dehn get a big share of votes.

But the 36-year-old ultimately triumphed and will assume the helm at Minneapolis City Hall, so here are a few things you should know about your new mayor.

Here's not a Minnesotan by birth

He actually grew up in northern Virginia and went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, before moving on to Philadelphia's Villanova University.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, Frey has been at pains to point out how he "fell in love with Minneapolis" after running the Twin Cities marathon over a decade ago.

The day after he graduated, he said he packed up his car and "drove 1,200 miles west to my chosen home."

He doesn't just run for office

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As we hinted at above, Frey is a keen runner; in fact, he was formerly a professional runner.

His performance in the Twin Cities marathon earned him a spot on Team USA at the 2007 Pan Am games in Rio De Janeiro, where he came in fourth.

He also attended college on a track scholarship.

His first political run came in 2013, gaining more than 61 percent of the vote in Ward 3 – covering parts of downtown and northeast – and beating two-term incumbent Diane Hofstede.

He's a civil rights attorney

After getting his law degree, Frey started practicing civil and employment rights law at what was then Faegre & Benson in 2009.

He's now at Halunen Law, where his bio says he's focused his career on individual and class employment cases, including discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower actions.

In 2012 he was honored by Minneapolis with the first annual Martin Luther King Jr. award for his social justice and civil rights work.

What he stands for

One of his main campaign pledges has been to tackle what he considers to be an affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis. 

He wants to increase the budget for affordable housing and ensure it's more evenly distributed around the city, including more housing for lower income families in "wealthy and predominantly white neighborhoods."

This falls into his wider vision to reduce segregation, and he has other aspirations to bring more middle-class jobs to the city, including a proposal to develop incentives for businesses to hire people living in Minneapolis. He also plans to make the city independent of fossil fuels by 2035.

You can read more here.

His wife is a lobbyist

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Frey met his wife, Sarah Clarke, in Minneapolis and they got married last year. She's also active in the political scene, working as a lobbyist at Hylden Advocacy & Law.

Among the firms she represents as a lobbyist at state level are Holiday gas stations, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, South East Homes and the Minnesota Nurses Association.

Frey told MPR earlier this year that his wife's work "hasn't touched on" any city issues he's been involved in, and in one case – regarding a plastic bag ban – Frey voted a different way from the firm she was lobbying for.

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