Coon Rapids voters elected an incumbent councilmember, a former councilmember and a retired police chief to the city council.
Incumbent Councilmember Denise Klint won a close race with challenger Chad Newman, polling 2,997 votes to Newman’s 2,761, a 51.91 percent to 47.83 percent margin.
Retired Coon Rapids Police Chief Steve Wells won the open at-large seat, where Councilmember Scott Schulte did not run for re-election.
Wells polled 14,529 votes to defeat Roger Johnson 11,122, a 56.17 percent to 43 percent margin.
According to Wells, he was excited and humbled by the support he received at the polls.
Throughout his campaign, he tried to present a positive message, not make any promises that he could not keep and to tell people he would do the best job that he could, Wells said.
Two of the issues that he talked about were maintaining Coon Rapids’ housing stock and redevelopment of Coon Rapids Boulevard, he said. “They cropped up time and time again,” Wells said.
Wells also tried to dispel misconceptions about Coon Rapids as he talked with people, he said.
“I met one lady who has lived in Coon Rapids for 54 years and loves the city,” Wells said. “There are many people who have lived in the city since the 1950s and 1960s.”
Wells sees the role of the council as not to be a micro-manager, but rather a policy maker, he said.
“I will be listening way more than I am talking,” Wells said.
In the open Ward 2 seat, Councilmember Melissa Larson did not seek re-election, Ron Manning defeated Ken Boelter by 2,904 to 2,539 votes, 52.97 percent to 46.32 percent.
Manning served as Ward 2 councilmember for eight years and before that for 10 years on the Anoka-Hennepin School Board before he was unseated by Larson four years ago.
He ran for election again because there were still some important issues that he has wanted to be part of the decision-making, according to Manning.
Among the issues on which he focused his campaign was repeal of the gas prepay ordinance, which Manning said was hurting gas stations owners’ business and was inconvenient to customers.
Manning is also hoping that the city can interest developers in moving forward with quality projects on Coon Rapids Boulevard.
“I am excited to be returning to the council,” Manning said.
There are a good group of people on the council, some of whom Manning has served with before, and they work well together, he said.
“It is important to be able to work together, put votes behind you and not carry them over to the next meeting otherwise councils become dysfunctional,” Manning said.
Councilmember Jerry Koch, 10560 Mississippi Blvd., who was appointed to fill the Ward 4 council seat last year after former Councilmember Joe Sidoti resigned because he moved out of the city and the state for work reasons, ran unopposed.
Koch had 4,321 votes. There were 49 write-in votes.
According to City Clerk Cathy Sorensen, voter turnout appeared to be high in Coon Rapids.
There were between 200 and 400 same-day voter registrations in all 22 precincts, Sorensen said.
“But there were no long lines at the polling place, just a constant, steady stream of voters,” she said.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]