The already pretty exciting race to become MPLS mayor became even more exciting this week when former Hennepin Theater Trust CEO Tom Hoch officially added his name the list of high profile mayoral candidates that includes current Mayor Betsy Hodges, former MPLS NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds, and City Council Member and running enthusiast Jacob Frey.
We wanted to get a feel for Hoch’s campaign right out of the gate, so we sent him a Quick Q+A full of hot topics from our arts and culture coverage.
Secrets of the City: Your announcement says: “We need to get Minneapolis back on track.” What does that track look like? When did we start slowing down on it?
Tom Hoch: The track curves to the left and has “Tom Hoch” in big letters on it. It also comes with a great soundtrack of Steven Sondheim and Cole Porter. I think we started to slow down when I decided not to run for mayor four years ago.
You’ve got the endorsement of John Sweeney, owner of Brave New Workshop—how important is the local theater voting block? As important as the local long-distance runner voting block?
There’s an old saying, “as go the thespians, so goes the nation”. All the runners will be gone by November, so I think John locked this thing up for us.
It’s our opinion—and we’d guess the opinion of most, if not all, of our readers—that downtown MPLS, aside from a few bright spots, is a hassle, prohibitively so. From your years with Hennepin Theater Trust, who needs to do better there, the city government or business leaders?
City government definitely needs to do better right now. After I get elected in November, I expect businesses will need to step up their game, too.
Which sleeve to you wear your Skyway Avoidance Society patch on?
Eric Dayton never mailed mine, and I’m still pretty bitter about it.
The upcoming Super Bowl: How much should residents charge to Air B’n’B their homes for while they get the heck out of town?
I think they should gouge the out-of-town masses as much as possible. Maybe we can use the tax revenue to finally finish Nicollet Mall.