Saint Paul’s ranked-choice voting system will get a workout this November. With the close of the two-week filing period on August 10, eight candidates had entered the race for mayor, including first-term incumbent Mayor Melvin Carter III.
Challenging Carter’s bid for re-election are Dino Guerin of Battle Creek, Bill Hosko of downtown, Dora Jones-Robinson of Roseville, Paul Langenfeld of Highland Park, Abu Nayeem of Hamline-Midway, Miki Frost of Battle Creek and Scott Evans Wergin of Payne-Phalen.
Guerin, 62, serves as an investigative assistant in the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. Married and the father of one child, he earned an associate’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and served on the Saint Paul City Council from 1991-97 and the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners from 1997-2000.
Hosko, 58, is an architectural artist and the owner of Hosko Gallery & Framing and Music Forest Cafe in downtown. Educated in art, architecture and drafting at Minneapolis Technical College, he has served as a board member of the CapitolRiver Council and West Side Citizens Organization. Single with no children, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001 and for the City Council in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Jones-Robinson, 56, is founder and executive director of Mentoring Young Adults, an organization that promotes positive directions in the lives of youths. She also founded Guns Down Saint Paul, a program aimed at preventing gun violence. A graduate of Central High School, she attended college for two years and has served as an administrative assistant for Saint Paul and as executive assistant for economic development for Phoenix. She is married with no children and plans to move to Saint Paul in September.
Langenfeld, 58, works as a personal care attendant for Lifeworks Services. A graduate of the University of Saint Thomas, he earned a master of divinity degree from Saint Thomas’ Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. He served as vice president of the board of the Highland District Council from 2019-21. In 2006 he founded the Langenfeld Foundation and serves as president and chairman of the board of the nonprofit organization, which provides enrichment activities for people with disabilities.
Nayeem, 33, is a community organizer. Single with no children, he earned a master’s degree in agriculture and resource economics at the University of Califormia-Berkeley. He has served as a member of the Frogtown Neighborhood Association’s board of directors.
Frost could not be reached for comment, but according to his website, he is a community organizer and director of the nonprofit 8218 Truce Center, which encourages youths to make positive life choices and promotes conflict resolution by teaching communication skills. The father of five children, he founded the Truce Center in 2019 in Summit-University and it has since expanded to the East Side.
Wergin could not be reached for comment.
Carter, 42, a resident of downtown, has served as mayor since 2018. A graduate of Florida A&M University with a degree in business administration, he earned a master’s degree in public policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Married and the father of six children, he represented Ward 1 on the City Council from 2008-13 and served as chairman of the board of Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, and executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet.
With ranked-choice voting, there is no primary election. All eight candidates will advance to the November 2 general election where voters will be asked to rank the candidates in order of preference.
— Dale Mischke
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