The filing period has closed, and the numbers are in: Six people will vie for State Sen. Jeff Hayden's former seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Four DFLers, Green Party national co-chair Farheen Hakeem and one independent will duke it out—metaphorically speaking—for the job Hayden vacated after winning election to retired Sen. Linda Berglin's South Minneapolis seat.
House district 61B, which covers Kingfield and several Minneapolis neighborhoods on the East side of Interstate 35W, will vote Jan. 10. The DFL primary is Dec. 6.
None of the DFL candidates running have previously held office, but all are offering similar brands of progressive politics. Websites for attorney Susan Allen, teacher and political organizer Nelson Inz and labor organizer Josh Bassais all tout their support for education and economic development. Both Inz and Allen also trumped their support for healthcare and tax reform, while Bassis' website declares his support for affordable housing. DFLer Paul Dennis hasn't yet set up a website.
Hakeem hasn't set up a website for her 61B campaign, either. But in her recent campaign for state senate, Hakeem ran on a similar platform of single-payer healthcare, immigration and foreclosure reform, increasing taxes on the rich and support for green jobs, education funding, and environmental protection.
The odd man out in this race appears to be Kingfield resident and carpenter Nathan Blumenshine, who's running as an independent on what, on his website, he calls a "platform of respect" for "all people regardless of color, age, sexual orientation, faith, language, gender, or income."