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Vote count continues in 4 Mpls. races; Hodges celebrates mayor's race win

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Vote-counting continues in the Minneapolis mayoral race and three City Council races, even as Betsy Hodges celebrated victory and prepared to be the next leader of the city.

Hodges rallied with her supporters Wednesday night at a northeast Minneapolis brewery after her next closest challenger, former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew, called to congratulate her, the Star Tribune reports. Andrew conceded on his Facebook page, too.

MPR News says that Hodges "declared victory," while WCCO reports that Hodges gave a "quasi-acceptance speech," noting the race is "all but over."

“It’s a big dream Minneapolis, let’s go live the dream,” Hodges told her supporters.

Meticulous counting continues in the four races because of the city's ranked-choice voting system, which employs a complex method of counting voters' first, second and third choices. Hodges is the presumptive winner because she got nearly 37 percent of first-choice votes and a sizable share of second-choice votes. KARE 11 takes an up-close look at the tedious counting process, which relies on Excel spreadsheet software.

Counting was set to resume at 10 a.m. Thursday in order to finish compiling the mayor's race votes, the Star Tribune reports. Then counters will dive into the votes in three Council races in which official winners have not yet been declared, in the city's 5th, 9th and 13th wards.

In St. Paul, the Ward 1 Council race winner likely will not be declared until Monday. Seven candidates appeared on the ranked-choice ballot, leaving two front-runners, Dai Thao and Noel Nix, with 27 percent and 25 percent of the vote, respectively, the Pioneer Press reported. A hand count of ballots begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, the newspaper reported.

Unofficially, it appears that seven new Minneapolis Council members will take their seats on the 13-member panel, including three 30-somethings who beat incumbents. The election is reflective of a demographics shift in the city as well as a reshaping of the council by younger members, MPR News reports.

In other news, KSTP reports that the the Minneapolis Charter Commission has already proposed raising the filing fees for municipal offices from $20 to $500 for mayor, $250 for city council, and $100 for both parks and recreation commissioners and Board of Estimates and Taxation. The move is aimed at decreasing the number of candidates who are not serious about campaigning but who jump into the race anyway. Some voters said the 35-candidate race was too confusing to follow, while others said they appreciated the democratic process at work.

The Pioneer Press also had this Election Day leftover tidbit: Vice President Biden called to congratulate Mayor Chris Coleman on his re-election, but Coleman missed the call.

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