Brooklyn Park City Council East District February 8 special election could usher in a historic people of color majority on the seven-person council once the votes are counted.
Most voters have yet to cast their ballots even though absentee voting has been going on since Dec. 27. 255 votes have been cast as of the morning of Jan. 31.
Voters can vote at City Hall in-person all of this week until Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and this Saturday (Feb. 5) from 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m. The last day to vote absentee before the election is Feb. 7 at City Hall from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Feb. 8 special election will fill the seat left vacant by Lisa Jacobson who was elected mayor on August 10, 2021.
There are four candidates in the race; Abraham Bah, Benjamin Osemenam, Xp Lee and LaDawn Severin. The four have met in two candidate forums. One by the League of Women Voters and the latest by Mshale.
The state’s sixth largest city is divided into three districts each represented by two council members. The mayor is elected city wide to comprise a seven-person council. The mayor has one vote on the council like the rest of the council members.
Currently there are two Black men and one Asian woman on the council. A win by either Bah, Osemenam or Lee will for the first time see the Brooklyn Park City Council have a majority people of color. The city is 56 percent people of color.
A number of notable Brooklyn Park and metro area residents have already made their endorsements in the Feb. 8 race. Endorsements can help signal to voters what a candidate’s positions on the issues are, or underscore the type of support the candidate has.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the endorsements we are aware of in the race, compiled from a combination of press releases, social media posts and candidate websites. Information will be updated as needed.
Public figures: Commissioner Jeffrey Lunde – Hennepin County Commissioner and former Mayor of Brooklyn Park; Pastor Samuel Vansiea – Senior Pastor at Joy World Universal Church; Imam Mohammed Dukuly – Imam at Masjid Al-Ansar Islamic Community Center; Bishop Harding Smith – Spiritual Church of God; Rev. Francis Tabla – Pastor at Ebenezer Community Church; Hassanen Mohamed, Former chair of the Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission and a former Planning Commissioner.
None. Candidate Osemenam said he is only seeking the endorsement of voters and Brooklyn Park residents and “not special interest endorsements.”
Public figures: Rep. Kaohly Her – Minnesota House of Representatives; Rep. Samantha Vang – Minnesota House of Representatives; Rep. Fue Lee– Minnesota House of Representatives; Councilmember Susan Pha – Brooklyn Park City Council; Councilmember Terry Parks – Brooklyn Park City Council.
Organizations: Minnesota DFL Party; DFL Veterans Caucus.
None. Candidate Severin said she has not reached out to any individuals or organizations for endorsements at this point.
Voting requirements and info: Visit the City of Brooklyn Park website.