'Cyley Mirus': Really odd moments from the St. Paul mayor's debate


Mayoral debates can be real snooze fests. So you'd be forgiven for skipping the forum Thursday night for St. Paul mayoral candidates.

But people are still buzzing about the strange debate that CityPages called a "clown show."

At the center of the table was Mayor Chris Coleman in his suit. To his right was colorful longtime local political candidate Sharon Anderson, 74, in a T-shirt emblazoned with "Lawless America." And to his left, city Public Works employee Kurt Dornfeld, who stripped down to a "Durty Kurty for mayor" T-shirt after the forum.

The affair had Coleman alternately aghast and in stitches. Among the weirder moments:

MPR News notes that Dornfeld at one point lost his train of thought and admitted, “I don’t even know where I’m going with this, but I’m nervous as all heck, and I’ve never done this before.”

– Anderson decried school shootings, and suggested that students be given bubble wrap, which she held up and said would be good "therapy" for students.

– CityPages notes Anderson also said, "I'm the wrecking ball – I'm not Cyley Mirus – but I'm the wrecking ball of Coleman's demolitions."

– You can hear a bit of Anderson's opening statement at MPR News. A snippet: "My rod is the Constitution and my camera. And I also am a registered gun owner. My staff is my cane and my umbrella. Don't be vain, walk with a cane. And if you come at me, I'll stick you in the eye."

– The Pioneer Press has a great video of several of these lighter moments, including Dornfeld's close, which made Coleman wince and say, "Oh God, you didn't just say that."

In more serious portions of the forum, Coleman made a case that the city of St. Paul has been steadily advancing in eight years under his leadership, citing the the light-rail line, a revitalized downtown and efforts to close an achievement gap in schools, MPR notes.

Also at the table was Coleman's top challenger, businessman Tim Holden, who made a case that life in St. Paul has gotten worse under Coleman's leadership. He cited potholes, crime, city-involved lawsuits, and lost businesses along the light-rail route.

Holden and Coleman are scheduled to appear in their second and final debate without their more colorful opponents at noon Thursday on MPR News.

Next Up

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.