MINNEAPOLIS - Five DFL mayoral candidates hoping to succeed Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak debated at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School Wednesday.

The candidates appeared together for the first time and included former Hennepin County commissioner Mark Andrew, former Minneapolis city council president Jackie Cherryhomes, and three current Minneapolis city council members, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels and Gary Schiff.

Humphrey School professor Larry Jacobs moderated the forum, along with graduate students in urban and regional planning programs.

All of the candidates expressed support in reducing Minneapolis' property taxes, and agreed on enhancing policing and safety, and gaining more affordable housing in the city. The topic the candidates most disagreed on was whether Minneapolis should still help finance the Vikings stadium deal.

An independent mayoral candidate Cam Winton listened in the audience at the DFL debate. Winton, 34, is an attorney for a wind energy company who hails from the Fulton neighborhood.

He will be among the six candidates to debate next Wednesday, April 3rd, from 6:30pm to 8pm at Solomon's Porch church in Minneapolis, at 100 West 46th Street.

This is the first open seat election for Minneapolis mayor in two decades. More candidates declare interest in the race, as the city deadline to file as a candidate is July 30, 2013.

The election is set for November 5th, 2013 and will use rank choice voting, the same voting method used in 2009. Voters rank their preferences between all the candidates.

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