Melvin Carter (politician)

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Melvin Carter
St Paul Mayor, Melvin Carter at Red Bull Crashed Ice, St Paul MN (39768482221) (cropped1).jpg
55th Mayor of St. Paul
Assumed office
January 2, 2018
Preceded byChris Coleman
Member of the Saint Paul City Council
from the 1st ward
In office
January 8, 2008 – July 5, 2013
Preceded byDebbie Montgomery
Succeeded byDai Thao
Personal details
Melvin Whitfield Carter III

(1979-01-08) January 8, 1979 (age 43)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseSakeena Futrell
EducationFlorida A&M University (BS)
University of Minnesota (MPP)
WebsiteGovernment website Campaign website

Melvin Whitfield Carter III (born January 8, 1979) is an American politician who has served as mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 2018.[1] Elected to his first term in 2017 and reelected in 2021, Carter is the 55th mayor of St. Paul and its first African American mayor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Carter in 2018

Carter was born in St. Paul's Rondo Neighborhood. He is the son of Melvin Whitfield Carter Jr., a retired St. Paul police officer, and Toni Carter, a Ramsey County commissioner. Carter is a fourth-generation St. Paulite. He is a graduate of Saint Paul Central High School and was an UMTYMP (University of Minnesota Talented Youth in Mathematics Program) student through junior high and high school.[3] He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida A&M University. During his time at FAMU, Carter became a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He earned a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota.[citation needed]


Before his election as mayor, Carter served as a Saint Paul City Council member from 2008 to 2013 and vice chair of the council.

He also served as founding board chair of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, and executive director of the Minnesota Children's Cabinet, advising former Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy.[4] He also was an adjunct faculty member at University of Minnesota-Duluth, teaching graduate-level classes on campaigns and elections.[5]

Mayor of St. Paul[edit]

During his tenure as mayor, Carter was instrumental in raising the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour. He also established the Office of Financial Empowerment.[6] He launched CollegeBound Saint Paul, the city's college savings account program,[7] and the People's Prosperity Pilot, a guaranteed income program that gives 150 families $500 per month for 18 months.[8]

Carter also served on the steering committee of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a consortium of American mayors advocating for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, he reestablished the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. He managed revitalization efforts of the St. Paul riverfront, and the "Ford Site", the location of a former Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Highland Park, is being redeveloped into a mixed-use housing and retail center.[9] Carter eliminated the practice of collecting late fees in St. Paul public libraries[10] and spearheaded the Families First Housing Pilot program.

Personal life[edit]

Carter still resides in Rondo, where he was raised, along with his wife, Sakeena Futrell-Carter, and their children.[11] He is a cousin of professional football player Kenjon Barner.[citation needed]


Saint Paul Mayoral Election Results (First Choice) - 2021[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Melvin Carter III (incumbent) 36,426 61.63
Nonpartisan Dino Guerin 7,454 12.61
Nonpartisan Paul Langenfeld 5,298 8.96
Nonpartisan Bill Hosko 3,423 5.79
Nonpartisan Dora Jones-Robinson 2,357 3.99
Nonpartisan Miki Frost 2,069 3.50
Nonpartisan Abu Nayeem 1,516 2.57
Nonpartisan Scott Evans Wergin 355 0.60
Write-in 205 0.35
Total votes 100.00
Saint Paul Mayoral Election Results (First Choice) - 2017[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Melvin Carter III 31,353 50.86
Nonpartisan Pat Harris 15,281 24.79
Nonpartisan Dai Thao 7,590 12.31
Nonpartisan Elizabeth Dickinson 2,927 4.75
Nonpartisan Tom Goldstein 2,360 3.83
Nonpartisan Other candidates 2,135 3.46
Total votes 61,646 100.00


  1. ^ "Melvin Carter sworn in as St. Paul's first new mayor in 12 years; Frey takes office in Minneapolis". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Melvin Carter elected St. Paul's first African-American mayor". November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "About the Mayor". Saint Paul, Minnesota. November 10, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "About | Melvin Carter". Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Drousie, Émile (April 1, 2018). "Melvin Carter (1979- )". Black Past. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Minimum Wage". Saint Paul, Minnesota. December 18, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "St. Paul set to kickstart a college savings account for every newborn". MinnPost. December 12, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "EDITORIAL | St. Paul to provide low income families with $500 per month cash payments". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ford Site: A 21st Century Community". Saint Paul, Minnesota. October 19, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Ibrahim, Mohamed. "St. Paul libraries see a boost after going fine-free". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Hobbes, Dwight (March 7, 2020). "St. Paul's Mayor Carter rejects simple answers to gun violence". Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "Index". Election Results. November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "MN Election Results". Retrieved November 10, 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of St. Paul