Charles Stenvig

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Charles Stenvig
39th Mayor of Minneapolis
In office
1969–1973
Preceded by Arthur Naftalin
Succeeded by Richard Erdall
42nd Mayor of Minneapolis
In office
1976–1977
Preceded by Albert Hofstede
Succeeded by Albert Hofstede

Charles A. Stenvig (January 16, 1928 – February 22, 2010) served as mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota for three two-year terms from 1969 to 1973 (two terms) and from 1976 to 1978 (one term). Stenvig was a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department before and after his service as mayor. Stenvig was an independent politician who espoused a "law and order" platform amid the social unrest of the late 1960s and early 1970s. At the time, Stenvig was compared to other law-and-order mayors such as Sam Yorty in Los Angeles and Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia.

Biography[edit]

Stenvig was born in Minneapolis in 1928. Growing up in South Minneapolis, Stenvig attended Roosevelt High School where he won a Minnesota state high school boys' golf championship. Stenvig attended Augsburg College and received a degree in sociology. After graduation, he joined the Minneapolis Police Department. Stenvig worked his way up to the rank of detective, working with the burglary squad, prior to entering Minneapolis politics.

In 1969, Stenvig entered the mayoral election as an independent candidate. DFL Mayor Arthur Naftalin had declined to run for a fifth term as mayor and the race for the open seat attracted several candidates. Stenvig ran an unconventional campaign for mayor that relied on limited funds and volunteer labor. After winning a three-way primary election, forcing out DFL candidate Gerard Hegstrom, he went on to defeat the Republican candidate, 7th Ward alderman and Council President Dan Cohen in the general election. Stenvig received 62 percent of the vote in the election, surprising many veteran political observers in the city.[1] Stenvig was re-elected in 1971 when he defeated Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate W. Harry Davis by a wide margin. In the 1973 election, Stenvig lost to DFL candidate Albert Hofstede. Stenvig won back the mayor's office in a 1975 rematch with Hofstede. Stenvig lost to Hofstede again in 1977. In 1978, he lost the Republican primary for Minnesota secretary of state. In 1979, Stenvig ran again for mayor and lost to Donald M. Fraser. In 1982, Stenvig ran for Hennepin County Sheriff and lost.

In 1981, Stenvig and members of his family appeared on an episode of the game show Family Feud, where they faced the Tuck family. The Stenvig family lost 422–0.

After retiring from the police department, Stenvig moved to Arizona around 1990 and died there on February 22, 2010.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Finlay Lewis, “Detective’s 61.8% of Vote Beats Cohen,” Minneapolis Tribune, June 11, 1969.
  2. ^ Bob von Sternberg (February 23, 2010). "Charles Stenvig, three-term Minneapolis mayor, dies in Arizona". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Naftalin
39th Mayor of Minneapolis
1969–1973
Succeeded by
Richard Erdall
Preceded by
Albert Hofstede
42nd Mayor of Minneapolis
1976–1977
Succeeded by
Albert Hofstede

External links[edit]