Challenger questions Chris Coleman's travel expensesby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Chris Coleman's sole challenger in the St. Paul mayor's race is calling on the incumbent mayor to explain why his campaign committee is spending money on meals and traveling outside the city.
Coleman, a DFLer, is considering a run for governor in 2010. His opponent in the fall mayor's race, Eva Ng, says Coleman has "already checked out" from his duties of running the city.
The Republican-endorsed Ng says the Coleman campaign has spent more than $2,000 on hotels, airfare, meals and political donations around the state.
"When I see these records, I see the mayor is using mayoral money for a gubernatorial run, and he's not looking out for me," said Ng. "He's looking to advance his own career on the people's money."
Ng acknowledged the expenses are not illegal.
Coleman's campaign manager, John Stiles, notes the money came from political donors, not city coffers.
Stiles doesn't dispute that Coleman may have discussed a possible run for governor at events in Alexandria and Rochester.
"He's one of the most prominent Democrats in Minnesota, and these are places that any prominent Democratic mayor of St. Paul would go," said Stiles.
Stiles says Ng's attack amounts to a publicity stunt, and pressed her to outline a clear plan of how she intends to move the city forward.
St. Paul voters will head to the polls Nov. 3.