Hodges officially declared winner in Minneapolis mayoral race

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It took two days, but Betsy Hodges is officially mayor-elect of Minneapolis.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Hodges was officially declared the winner of the city's mayoral election Thursday night.

Hodges' win didn't come as a complete surprise, since she was the frontrunner in the 35-candidate race since the first round of ballot counting in the ranked-choice voting election.

The ranked-choice method allows voters to pick their three favorite candidates in order of preference. The tabulation of the votes, however, is a much more involved process.

Hodges won in the 33rd round of ballot counting with 48.95 percent of the vote. Mark Andrew, her closest competitor, had the support of 31.44 percent of the voters.

Andrew informally conceded the race to Hodges Tuesday.

“On January Second it will be my job to live my gratitude by doing what I said I’d do: Work with you, the community, to build and grow Minneapolis," Hodges said in a statement released 10 p.m. Thursday. "To bring more people here based on the common ground, building on our progress to create an ever greater city as one Minneapolis.”

Hodges didn't wait until the official declaration Thursday to take part in a traditional mayors-only lunch with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

The Pioneer Press says the lunch at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis was an indication that Hodges and Coleman plan to continue the appearance of regionalism and cooperation between the two cities.

"This partnership is going to be strong; it's going to continue," Coleman told the paper.

The St. Paul mayor had previously endorsed Hodges in the Minneapolis mayor's race.

Coleman was re-elected to his third four-year term Tuesday with 78 percent of the vote.

The city of Minneapolis will next count the ranked-choice ballots for three City Council seats.

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