Convention Recap

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. 

Results 

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:

For my team and me, the day started at 7:30. It wasn't easy leaving this sunny morning by going into the convention hall, which is why I am so appreciative of everyone who came out to support me and put in hours of hard work.

Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton delivered the opening speech.

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.

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.

The turnout was strong!

Mark's and my son, John, introduced me before my speech.

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.

I spoke about my experience with the Hennepin Theater Trust.

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.

Tom Hoch