St. Paul primary: Coleman tops Kelly 52%-27%
Rochelle Olson and Jackie Crosby
September 14, 2005
St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly could be in for the fight of his political life after receiving barely half as many votes as former City Council Member Chris Coleman in Tuesday's primary.
In Minneapolis, Mayor R.T. Rybak outpolled Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin as the two advanced to a Nov. 8 general-election showdown. All four are DFLers.
Coleman outdistanced Kelly by 52 percent to 27 percent, with Kelly coming perilously close to dropping behind Green Party candidate Elizabeth Dickinson, who received 19 percent.
Coleman and Kelly will face off in November, as will Rybak and McLaughlin. Both Minneapolis DFLers easily advanced. Rybak got 44 percent to 35 percent for McLaughlin.
Kelly faced voters for the first time Tuesday since endorsing Republican President Bush in 2004. His campaign for weeks had downplayed expectations for the primary, saying he expected to lose.
"When the incumbent mayor loses a primary by a 2-to-1 margin, it's a referendum on his performance," said Coleman, who defeated Kelly in the incumbent's own East Side precinct. "It has nothing to do with party loyalty. It's about value and judgment. He's had four years to establish trust with the voters, and clearly the voters are not happy."
Prof. Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute agreed, saying of Kelly, "It's a real sign that he's got the fight of his life here."
What did you think would happen, Randy? Hey, after you lose the mayoral race, I bet good ol' Senator Norm Coleman would give you a job. Maybe you two could start your own little club. You could call yourselves "The Minnesota Traitors."