The non-partisan race for mayor of St. Paul, Minn., doesn’t usually attract nationwide attention. But this race did.
Former City Councilman Chris Coleman, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Mayor and fellow Democrat Randy Kelly by a 3-to-2 margin. In his handsome win, Coleman benefited from campaign appearances by 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Kerry running mate John Edwards also sent out a statement of endorsement, and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y..) wrote her Gopher State supporters seeking money and votes for Coleman.
What was so special about Coleman? It turns out that opponent Kelly last year embraced President Bush during an appearance in Minnesota and crossed party lines to endorse and campaign for the Republican President.
Andrew Leary, executive director of Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, might have well been speaking for Democrats nationwide when he said of Kerry’s appearance for Coleman: “Obviously, Sen. Kerry had something of a score to settle.”