East Siders running for St. Paul school board, mayoral candidates line up

While elections may not be on everyone’s mind during this off-year, it’s a big year for St. Paul. 

The city is set to elect a new mayor and three seats are up on the St. Paul Public School Board. Candidate filing closed Aug. 15 and St. Paulites may find the ballot to be very full this fall.


School board

Incumbents John Brodrick and Jeannie Foster are seeking reelection to the St. Paul School Board, which has three open seats. The other candidates are Luke Belville, Greg Copeland, Andrea Touhey and Marny Xiong.

Incumbent board member Chue Vue decided not to run for a second term.

Brodrick was first elected to the school board in 2001. He taught in St. Paul Public Schools from 1966 to 2000. Foster was elected last year to fill a vacant seat. She is now seeking a full term. There are seven board members, who serve four-year terms.

Three candidates are East Side residents.

Copeland, who lives in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, has worked with the Payne-Phalen Community Council in the past. Copeland unsuccessfully ran for the State Senate District 66 seat in 2010 and 2011. Last year he unsuccessfully ran for the vacant school board seat.

Foster lives in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood and serves on the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council board. She works at Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties managing family services. 

Xiong lives in the Payne Phalen neighborhood. She currently serves on the Payne-Phalen Community Council board and the St. Paul Neighborhood STAR board, which awards loans and grants for capital improvement projects in St. Paul neighborhoods.

Bellville is an attorney in St. Paul and Touhey is an education consultant and former teacher.

Brodrick, Foster and Xiong have been endorsed by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers.


Mayor’s office

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who is serving out his third term, announced in December 2016 that he’s making a run for the governor’s office, making way for the city’s first wide open mayoral race in more than a decade.

There are 10 candidates for mayor: Sharon Anderson, Melvin Carter, Trahern Crews, Elizabeth A. Dickinson, Tom Goldstein, Pat Harris, Chris Holbrook, Tim Holden, Dai Thao and Barnabas Joshua Y’Shua.

Anderson has run for the mayor’s office and other elected positions for many years. 

Carter served on the St. Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013 and currently serves as the executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet. He grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Central High School. 

Crews has run for the Ward 1 St. Paul City Council seat and he is also known for his non-violence campaign, #BlackTruce. Some East Siders may also know Crews from WEQY Radio, which is headquartered in Dayton’s Bluff, where he was a co-host of “Drive Time Mix.”

Dickinson, a life coach, public speaker and writer, lives on the city’s West Side. She has previously run for city council and mayor.

Goldstein is a former St. Paul School Board member. He has also served and co-founded various neighborhood and social justice advocacy groups in the Hamline Midway neighborhood, where he lives.

Harris was a St. Paul City Council member for 12 years. He is currently senior vice president at BMO Harris Bank. He grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Cretin High School.

Holbrook ran for the governor’s office in 2014 as the Libertarian candidate. He serves on the Libertarian Party of Minnesota executive committee as an at-large member.

Holden is a real estate investor and ran for mayor in 2013.

Thao is a current St. Paul City Council member, representing Ward 1. He was first elected in 2013 to serve a partial term and was reelected in 2015. Thao is the first Hmong-American to serve on the council.

Y’Shua is a political newcomer. According to a recent Pioneer Press article, he currently resides at Union Gospel Mission, which provides beds and services for those who are homeless, live in poverty or deal with addiction.

Since a 2009 referendum, St. Paul uses ranked voting for its elections. For more information on how ranked voting works, go to www.ramseycounty.us and search “Ranked Voting.”

Election Day is Nov. 7.


Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto


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