Come January, Betsy Hodges will no longer be the mayor of Minneapolis.
Hodges said in a statement Wednesday she congratulated Frey on his victory, adding she told him she knows "he loves Minneapolis," and that she's committed to a smooth transition.
She also said serving as mayor of Minneapolis "is the greatest honor of my life," adding that the thing she loves most about Minneapolis is "you: the most welcoming, engaged, passionate, diverse, committed, determined, strong, and loving people anywhere."
Hodges thanked supporters, staff, volunteers, her friends and family, and "my beloved Minneapolis, from the bottom of my heart."
Hodges' leadership was heavily tested as mayor
Hodges was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 2013 after serving on the Minneapolis City Council for eight years, her bio says.
The Minnesota native became the second woman ever to be mayor of the city. In her four years in the position, she often emphasized her goals of eliminating racial disparities, improving community-police relations, and trying to make the city a better place for everyone.
Some of her high-profile initiatives included:
- Implementing body cameras for every Minneapolis police officer (a campaign promise before her first run).
- A new law requiring employers to give workers paid sick time (though it's part of a court dispute right now).
- Her Cradle to K Cabinet initiative to address disparities among young kids.
- Her Zero-Waste Minneapolis plan to make the city greener.
- The signing of an $800 million investment in the city's parks and roads.
- $40 million in affordable housing.
- And the approval of a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
But they were often overshadowed by critics and calls for her resignation – especially in the months leading up to the election, and following high-profile police shoo
Hodges and the Minneapolis Police Department
Much of her time as mayor was tested by tension with police officials and community activists, starting with the #Pointergate scandal in 2014.
That tension was escalated a year later when Jamar Clark was fatally shot by police.
Clark's death ripped a scab off a wound many people didn't realize the city had, prompting weeks of protests, as well as calls for reform and the demilitarization of police. It even helped one of this year's mayoral candidates – Nekima Levy-Pounds – decide to run in hopes of enacting real change in the city.
Hodges was tested again this summer, when a Minneapolis police officer fatally shot Justine Damond. Again the community called for change within the police department and city leadership – including Hodges.
Damond's death led to the ousting of former Chief Janeé Harteau. Harteau's resignation highlighted the issues between her and Hodges, including their poor communication during the Clark protests in 2015.
Hodges was also forced to defend her decision to go on a fundraising trip to Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Damond shooting.
And she's been sued by the police lieutenant whose promotion she blocked after years of public spatting between them. (He was also involved in the #Pointergate scandal, and had been promoted by Harteau).
Other problems also came up
In addition to those tensions, Hodges faced some other negative PR in the weeks leading up to the election.
A bunch of her campaign staffers abruptly quit. She was sued by the city's top tax official for failing to release her full budget by the legal deadline (though Hodges ultimately prevailed in court). And she was declared by the New York Observer the second worst mayor in America.
Some of these things she acknowledged.
In her State of the City speech over the summer – and throughout much of her re-election campaign – Hodges stressed that Minneapolis has to go through some tough stuff in order to get stronger and be better for everyone living here.
But on Tuesday, voters decided they'd be better off going through that tough stuff without her leading the way.