While the mainstream news reports on Papa John’s pizza, and its founder’s retrieved Camaro, the political world has been percolating the story about a unique, independent candidate running for Mayor of Minneapolis, who happens to be called “Papa John.” Papa John Kolstad received his nickname as a blues singer. He will be running on the ballot name “Independent Civic Leader”. John Kolstad — and ten of his electoral opponents — will be running under the Instant Runoff system (IRV). While this Papa John has nothing to do with free “Papa John’s Pizza” or Camaros, it just so happens that IRV and proportional voting has been explained to people using the “What topping will people vote for on their pizza?” method. See an example at Fairvote.org: here.
IRV, which has been newly instituted in Minneapolis elections (see video in support of IRV: here), will make this a very interesting race. To start with, there are eleven candidates for Mayor. If theories about IRV prove true: There should be less mudslinging, because it is less effective under IRV. Each voter’s choice should be better expressed, because if there is not an overwhelming majority, and someone’s first choice does not win, her second choice will be counted. And, any so-called “spoiler effect” cannot occur in any way.
The Green Party has not endorsed anyone in this race. Though, in 2006, John Kolstad (now not registered in any political party) was the Green Party endorsed candidate for Attorney General. In addition, Al Flowers, another Mayor candidate, has connections to greens, though he will be running on the “Truth to the People” banner. Flowers has the personal endorsement of Farheen Hakeem, a former Green Party candidate, and newly elected national Green Party Steering Committee member. Al Flowers also appeared at a recent Green Party, “Fire the Minneapolis Chief of Police” press conference, and was the only Mayor candidate to do so.
On the Republican and conservative side of this race, there are also interesting line-ups. The Republican Party has recently endorsed John Kolstad. Though, another candidate, Bob Carney, Jr., had wanted to run under the banner “Moderate Progressive Republican.” The elections supervisors would not allow Carney this particular combination (using an idea and a party), so he is fighting the decision, while running under the banner of “Moderate Progressive Censored.” Christopher Clark will run under the banner of Libertarian.
There is a link to the official list of Minneapolis Mayor candidates at the city web-site: here. And below is a list of the candidates, and the words that will appear next to their names on the ballots. Candidates were allowed to chose to list on the ballot a political preference or an official party.
List of candidates for the 2009 Mayor of Minneapolis Election
Dick Franson: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
John Charles Wilson: Edgertonite National Party
Tom Fiske: Socialist Workers Party
R. T. Rybak (incumbent): Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Joey Lombard: Is Awesome
Bob Carney Jr.: Moderate Progressive Censored
(wanted to be called “Moderate Progressive Republican”)
Al Flowers: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Papa John Kolstad: Independent Civic Leader
James R. Everett: Social Entrepreneurship
Bill McGaughey: New Dignity Party
Christopher Clark: Libertarian
Story by Kimberly Wilder of onthewilderside.com