Senate District 49 Republicans have neither been asked nor decided on our own to endorse or recommend any of the current candidates in this year’s Edina City Council election. Individually, we may have our own preferred candidates for the two open seats, and we take particular notice of how they perform at public forums.
We found it especially noteworthy when candidate Carolyn Jackson had a bad night at the virtual candidate forum held by the Edina League of Women Voters on September 17. Unlike the other five candidates who participated, Jackson was unable to make her microphone function properly. She delivered a badly garbled introductory statement and struggled through repeated re-tries.
Jackson’s technical incompetence and lack of preparation was disturbing, but what was even more revealing was her reaction. Twice during the forum, Jackson’s frustration erupted, including shouting at someone off-camera and an outburst of profanity. This was all carried live on channels 813 and 16.
The Edina League of Women Voters attempted to cover up Jackson’s incompetence and intemperance by posting an edited version of the forum on their website with a new introduction. After community blowback, the league reposted the original, unedited version of the forum, including Jackson’s meltdowns. It does include a re-recording of Jackson’s introductory remarks, but includes it at the end. For more on this story, see the Edina Sun Current.
The full video of the Edina City Council candidate forum may be viewed on the Edina League of Women Voters website or Edina TV (the City of Edina YouTube channel). (Jackson’s technology problems and response are at 15:50 to 18:00, 20:17 to 23:16, culminating in 26:06 to 27:50.)
Although the Edina City Council race is ostensibly non-partisan, Jackson is a prominent Democrat. Jackson ran for the Democratic endorsement for the Minnesota House in district 49A in Edina in 2018, losing to Heather Edelson, the current Democrat state representative for 49A. The website LeftMN credits her with a leadership role in defeating the Republican-led Voter ID Amendment ballot initiative in 2012, when she was the Legislative Coordinator for the ACLU of Minnesota.