Election 2023

Jost's victory completes all-female, highly diverse St. Paul City Council

A collage of seven women
Clockwise from top left: Anika Bowie, Rebecca Noecker, Saura Jost, Mitra Jalali, Cheniqua Johnson, Nelsie Yang and Hwa Jeong Kim.
Courtesy of candidates' campaigns

It took nearly a week, but Ramsey County election judges have confirmed that St. Paul voters elected women under 40 to all seven City Council seats. Six of the council members are also women of color.

The Ward 3 race was the final council race decided. Civil engineer Saura Jost won about 48 percent of the first-choice votes and easily won in the reallocation of votes through the city’s ranked choice voting system, which it has used since 2011.

Jost will be the first woman and person of color to represent the ward, which includes the Highland Park and Mac-Groveland neighborhoods.

“It speaks to what people in St. Paul really want to see in terms of the type of leadership we have,” Jost said. “All the people who just ran are amazing people who worked so hard during this campaign cycle to make sure we were reaching out to every voter.”

Shortly after her official win, Jost told MPR News host Tom Crann she is looking forward to using her personal experiences to address one of the biggest problems voters told her faces the city: its roads.

“Since I’m a civil engineer, I really enjoyed talking to people about asphalt, potholes and how we can repair our roads and think about our infrastructure long term,” Jost said.

Anika Bowie in Ward 1 and Cheniqua Johnson in Ward 7 were declared the unofficial winners after a ballot reallocation process at the Ramsey County Elections Office on Friday.

Ward 2 Council Member Rebecca Noecker, Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali and Ward 6 Council Member Nelsie Yang were reelected outright on Tuesday. Hwa Jeong Kim in Ward 5 also won handily on election night, without the need for reallocation.

Jalali is among the council members who have expressed interest in serving as council president when the new term begins in January.