Mayor, council candidates vie for votes

On Nov. 6 voters will go to the polls and cast their ballots to select those who will represent them as mayors and members of the city councils.

Polls are open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling location, which may have changed due to redistricting, visit

The following is an overview of the city races in the Anoka County Union’s coverage area. Visit on election night to find out who has been elected to represent your city and Anoka County.


Andover Mayor Mike Gamache, 2815 134th Ave. N.W., is unopposed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

On the other hand, the other three Andover City Council incumbents for two four-year seats and one two-year seat face competition.

Incumbents Sheri Bukkila, 13517 Swallow St. N.W., and Michael Knight, 4660 175th Ave. N.W., are seeking another four-year councilmember term. David Forsberg, 14011 Juniper Circle N.W., would like to unseat one of them.

One vacant councilmember seat is only for two years because it will conclude the four-year term that Don Jacobson was elected to in 2008.

Tony Howard, 2119 156th Ave. N.W., was appointed by the council. Valerie Holthus, 17680 Arrowhead St. N.W., is challenging Howard for this two-year term.


In Anoka, Phil Rice is seeking a third term as mayor. Rice was first elected as mayor in 2008, after serving as a member of the city council. He is being challenged by Barbara Deeds Baldwin, a former candidate in the mayor’s race and a current member of the city’s Economic Development Commission.

At large council seats currently held by Councilmemembers Mark Freeburg and Steve Schmidt are also on the ballot this Tuesday. Both Freeburg and Schmidt are running for re-election. Freeburg was first elected to the council in 1997, while Schmidt joined in 2009.

They are being challenged by Frank Bodine and Pat Walker. Both Bodine and Walker are long-time Anoka residents and have run for the city council in the past. Walker also serves as a member of the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The top two vote getters will fill the available council seats.

East Bethel

Tanner Balfany, 19172 East Front Blvd. N.E., is seeking to unseat the incumbent East Bethel Mayor Richard Lawrence, 455 Sims Road N.E. for the two-year mayor’s term.

Ron Koller, 18461 Jackson St. N.E., Brian Mundle, 24159 Pierce St. N.E.; Randy Plaisance, 715 192nd Ave. N.E.; and Tom Ronning, 20941 Taylor St. N.E., are on the ballot for the two open four-year councilmember seats. Incumbent Councilmembers Bill Boyer and Steve Voss are not running for re-election.

Ham Lake

Incumbents Tom Johnson, 15125 W. Vermillion Circle N.E., and Gary W. Kirkeide, 2152 158th Lane N.E., are running unopposed for the two open four-year council seats.


Voters will cast ballots for mayor and two councilmembers Tuesday.

Seeking the mayor’s seat are Randy Bettinger, 5550 210th Ave. N.W.; Matt Lendt, 5436 199th Ave. N.W.; and incumbent Bill Schulz, 18509 Baugh St.

Candidates for the two open four-year council seats are Dale Gene Ames, 22176 Sugar Bush Road N.W.; Robert Mahutga, 7560 Viking Blvd. N.W.; Mary Rainville, 6633 191st Ave. N.W.; Paul Reighard, 18711 Garnet St. N.W.; and Jim Scheffler, 20323 St. Francis Blvd.

Oak Grove

Residents will cast votes for two of five city council candidates Tuesday.

The two, four-year council seats are currently held by Scott Lawrence, 2050 195th Lane N.W., and Kevin Robinson, 21570 Nightingale St. N.W. Both are seeking re-election.

Other council candidates are Renee Reece-Murray, 20343 Nightingale St. N.W.; Weston Rolf, 1107 Sims Road; and Sean Sullivan, 20160 Quapaw St. N.W.


In Ramsey, voters will be deciding on four seats.

Running for the mayoral seat are Mayor Bob Ramsey, 9495 164th Lane N.W., and Ward 4 Councilmember Sarah Strommen, 14546 Krypton St. N.W.

The competitors for the at-large council seat race are Joe Field, 8021 152nd Lane N.W., and John LeTourneau, 14607 Bowers Drive N.W.

In Ward 2, incumbent Colin McGlone, 15890 St. Andrews Lane N.W., is vying for another four-year term against challenger Mark Kuzma, 16120 Royal Road N.W., while Wayne Buchholz, 14621 Neon St. N.W., and Chris Riley, 15120 Ute St. N.W., are running for the Ward 4 seat.

St. Francis

St. Francis voters will cast their ballots in three local races.

Running for the mayor’s seat are incumbent Mayor Jerry Tveit, who is seeking a third term, and challenger William Gardner, 5304 238th Ave. N.W. Gardner served as mayor from January 1991 to July 1, 1991 when he resigned.

There are two four-year council seats for voters to fill, which are currently held by Councilmembers Jeffrey Sandoval and Steve Kane.

The candidates vying for the seats are Tim Brown, 5268 Ambassador Blvd.; Mike Haggard, 22705 Rum River Blvd. N.W.; Richard Orpen, 2891 234th Lane N.W.; and Jeffrey Sandoval, 5113 238th Ave. N.W.

Three candidates are running for the remaining two years of former Councilmember LeRoy Schaffer’s term. Schaffer resigned in July 2011 and his seat is currently being filled by Brown.

The candidates are Jesse James Jones, 23725 Nacre St. N.W.; Amy Lazere, 4885 241st N.W.; and Dan Sherburne, 4185 232nd Ave. N.W.

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