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35 candidates queue up in Minneapolis mayor's race

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A record 35 candidates have filed to run for mayor of Minneapolis.

The likely leading candidates include City Council members Don Samuels and Betsy Hodges, former council members Jackie Cherryhomes and Dan Cohen, former Hennepin County commissioner Mark Andrew, Park Board Commissioner Bob Fine, business executive Stephanie Woodruff and attorney Cam Winton. But plenty of others want to become mayor.

City election officials say Minneapolis hasn't seen a mayor's race this crowded since at least the 1980s.

Three big factors are driving the stampede of contenders. With Mayor R.T. Rybak's decision not to seek re-election, the contest marks the first time in 20 years that the mayor election has not included an incumbent.

Another factor is the voting system. The city uses ranked choice voting, which eliminates the primary election. Instead, all candidates appear on the general election ballot, and voters rank up to three of them in order of preference.

Also, the price of admission is low: for $20 a candidates may place their names on the city ballot.

An effort to hike the filing fee to $500 failed earlier this year.

St. Paul also has a mayor's race underway, but it is decidedly less competitive. There are only three candidates challenging incumbent Chris Coleman.