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Sheriff Tries To Evict Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate On Election Day

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Occupy Homes MN
Occupy Homes MN

A Minneapolis mayoral candidate running on the "Stop Foreclosure Now" ballot line said sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her house Tuesday morning -- Election Day.

Around 5 a.m., just hours before polls were to open, Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies broke in Jaymie Kelly's front door, shattering its glass, and dragged her 23-year-old daughter out of bed in handcuffs, Kelly told HuffPost. "They knock and destroy. They don't wait," she said.

Kelly, 63, is a retired postal clerk who has been fighting to say in her foreclosed South Minneapolis home with the help of activists from the group Occupy Homes. She is also running a protest candidacy in the mayoral race, one of 35 candidates in a crowded field.

Although Kelly has no serious interest in becoming mayor, she asserts the eviction attempt was "just a little bit too coincidental." She believes it may have been timed to coincide with get-out-the-vote efforts for Ty Moore, an Occupy Homes supporter who is vying to become the first socialist city council member in Minneapolis's modern history.

"I think they really thought that we would be too distracted [with the election] to respond," said Nick Espinosa, an Occupy Homes activist.

A public information officer for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Jennifer Johnson, told HuffPost in an email that the department "does not wish to comment on your inquiry involving an eviction."

Representatives of a management company working for Kelly's lender, Freddie Mac, arrived with the sheriff's deputies and placed new locks on the home's front door. Kelly said after her daughter was released from handcuffs and the sheriff's deputies left, she was able to contact Occupy Homes supporters. They entered the house through a side door and persuaded the management company to leave.

"We basically outmaneuvered them and went in the side door of the house and filled the room with people," said Espinosa.

Kelly says she was the victim of a predatory loan and at this point has paid $425,000 for a home now worth $81,000. Freddie Mac, which gave her the loan through servicer JPMorgan Chase, said she has not made a payment on the house since the spring of 2011.

"We are now pursuing again under law our remedies to acquire the property and sell it to mitigate our losses, which have accumulated over the years," said Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German. "I have no idea about any connection between her candidacy, her election date and our exercise of our legal rights, post-foreclosure, post-redemption period to acquire the property."

Kelly said a sheriff's writ posted on her door between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Monday warned her that she had 24 hours to vacate the house. But she didn't leave. "I intend to stay in the home," she said. "For God's sakes, I've paid for it five times over."

Kelly said the eviction attempt has only fueled the public discussion her candidacy was meant to generate. She said she went to the polls Tuesday and ran into voters who had already heard the story. Their response convinced her to rethink her candidacy.

"I wasn't going to vote for myself," she said, "but I decided if other people were going to, I probably should."

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