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MPLS council member drops DFL endorsement bid to upstarts

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In a nod to a sea change of demographics in south Minneapolis, three-term incumbent council member Robert Lilligren dropped out of the 6th-Ward DFL endorsement contest Saturday.

According to the Star Tribune, Lilligren left his party's endorsement convention Saturday morning, leaving delegates to choose between two candidates, Abdi Warsame and Mohamed Cali.

Warsame is Somali, and the Strib reports that the south Minneapolis ward, which straddles I-35W between I-94 and Lake Street, is about 40 percent East African. Earlier this month Warsame and Cali rallied caucus-goers in Somali, the paper reports.

Lilligren told delegates that he had no confidence the party’s Ward 6 convention “is going to produce a fair outcome.” Lilligren and Cali supporters have accused Warsame's supporters of intimidation tactics, which Warsame denies. The Star Tribune reports that Warsame appeared to have overwhelming support" and the endorsement Saturday.

Lilligren says he will continue to seek re-election in November.

Another council incumbent appeared to have failed to pass the DFL sniff-test by mid-afternoon Saturday. The paper reports Lisa Bender garnering 149 of the 245 votes needed to win endorsement in the 10th Ward. Kendal Killian was next with 141 votes, and incumbent Meg Tuthill remained in third place with 115 votes. Ward 10 encompasses Uptown.

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