A long day, a long night
The 2017 DFL convention this past weekend was a lot like the marathons I used to run: exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating when over. My staff and volunteers showed a great deal of fortitude as they pressed on through long lines at registration, lengthy rules debates, and numerous conversations with delegates, alternates, and visitors. The convention was called to order at 11:00 am; the first ballot for mayor wasn't cast until 7:00 pm. One of my interns was tapped to serve as Sergeant at Arms and spent many hours on his feet ensuring the security of the floor.
This is why I am so grateful to everyone who ran this marathon with me -- and to those who will continue alongside me throughout this race.
We picked up nearly 150 delegates -- over 10% of the vote -- on the convention's sole ballot. Because party conventions tend to favor established politicians over outsiders in their endorsement process and this is my first run for office, the results clearly show that Minneapolitans are ready for new leadership and that the delegates connected with my message.
Here are the highlights:
Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton delivered the opening speech.
Sharon Sayles Belton says we need strong leadership and need to stop putting BandAids on problems. I agree wholeheartedly. #MplsMayor— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
I've been saying all along that our city's leadership needs to stop being reactive and start being proactive, so this statement by Sharon Sayles Belton rang especially true to me.
Chris Coleman says "Mayors make things happen." That's right but sometimes they don't. Experience is necessary for achievement. #MplsMayor— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
Several candidates for governor stopped by in the morning. One was Chris Coleman, mayor of Saint Paul. He said "mayors get things done" but that hasn't been true in Minneapolis for a while. What Minneapolis needs is a mayor who knows how to get things done.
There are 1,538 people checked in. 1,047 delegates, 491 alternates.— Emma Nelson (@emmamarienelson) July 8, 2017
The turnout was strong!
My son John is introducing me! I am so proud to call him my son.— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
Mark's and my son, John, introduced me before my speech.
I went to Minneapolis Public Schools, and graduated from Washburn. I’ve taught 4th through 6th grade for Minneapolis Public Schools.— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
Before I spoke, many in the audience didn't know that I'd been a Minneapolis Public Schools teacher. My staff tells me that they heard many people in the crowd say, "Oh, wow!" Voters clearly want a mayor who has worked inside the public schools.
Today, nearly 500K people visit the theatres each year. Buying tickets. Enjoying dinner before the show. Creating & supporting 100s of jobs.— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
I spoke about my experience with the Hennepin Theater Trust.
I’m not thinking about the next office. This isn't a stepping stone for me. I just want to make Mpls the best place it can be for everyone.— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
That kind of leadership...that level of integrity...that commitment to service is a winning proposition. And together we will win.— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
This isn’t about me. My goal is to serve the people of MPLS. My whole purpose in running for mayor is to serve you as BEST as I possibly can— Tom Hoch (@TomHochMpls) July 8, 2017
My speech was well receieved! When the speeches were finished, many people told us that they appreciated what I had to say and are interested in learning more about what I can do for the city.
One of the other candidates tried to take a shot at me, but my supporter set the record straight!
Some were surprised by the level of support I had. I wasn't. We will continue to build momentum that will carry us to victory in November.