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MINNEAPOLIS-R.T. Rybak, a former development director for the Minneapolis Downtown Council who rated affordable housing “our most importantcivic goal,” beat incumbent Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton in the race. Rybak has generally spoken out against using public subsidies for development projects, including sports stadiums — and he reiterating that position despite a threat that the Minnesota Twinsbaseball team could be “contracted” by Major League Baseball if they do not build a new ballpark.

Rybak has been critical of Sayles-Belton’s Downtown economic development policies, including a large subsidy to build a Target store Downtown, and has been proposing his own solutions to the affordable housing crisis that faces the city.

Rybak would consolidate city functions, cut costs and raise more private money for affordable housing efforts. He has advocated putting aside $16 million to fund affordable housing the first year, and then work on spurring private investment with city and state tax incentives. Rybak proposes establishing a $10-million-per-year continuous dedicated revenue stream for affordable housing to be funded with a coalition of city, county and foundation monies, as well as creating a central access point for entrepreneurs looking to build and renovate housing.

In St. Paul, Randy Kelly appears to have won in an exceedingly close the mayor’s race, although his opponent Jay Benanav may challenge the results.

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