Intriguing story lines in five city council election races

A two-week filing period for council races in five Anoka County cities closed Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Candidates had until the end of the day Thursday, Aug. 14 if they wish to withdraw their name from the Nov. 4 general election ballot. The following information includes names listed on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website as of Wednesday morning.


Current council members Sheri Bukkila and Julie Trude are both vying to replace Mike Gamache as the next mayor of Andover. This is a two-year term.

James Goodrich, Val Holthus, Tony Howard and Tonya Kostick filed for the two open four-year council member seats. Howard is an incumbent and Trude currently sits in the other expiring seat.

East Bethel

Robert DeRoche, Jr., Heidi Moegerle and Steven Voss are all vying to be elected to the office of East Bethel mayor.

DeRoche is sitting in the seat that East Bethel voters had elected Richard Lawrence to in 2010 and 2012, but three out of four council members ousted Lawrence and appointed DeRoche in January after residency questions about Lawrence were raised. Moegerle was the only council member who opposed this move.

Tim Harrington was appointed to DeRoche’s old council seat and is seeking another four-year term. Brian Mundle and Randy Plaisance are challenging Harrington for the two open four-year seats.

Ham Lake

There are no mysteries on who will be sitting on the Ham Lake City Council come January, barring an unforeseen write-in candidate campaign.

The three incumbents, Mayor Mike Van Kirk and council members Jim Doyle and Al Parranto all filed for re-election and have no challengers.


Three open seats on the Nowthen City Council became highly sought out over the last two days of filing Aug. 11-12 with all three mayoral candidates filing the last two days and four out of five council member candidates filling out the affidavit of candidacy paperwork at Nowthen City Hall the last day filing was open.

Jeff Pilon’s four-year term as a Nowthen council member expires at the end of this year. Rather than seek re-election to that seat, he wants to become the next mayor of Nowthen and is being challenged by Cindy Ohman and Jim Scheffler for this two-year seat.

The current mayor, Bill Schulz, is not seeking re-election.

Besides Pilon, the other incumbent council member with an expiring seat is Harlan Meyer. He is seeking four more years. Four others who filed for the two available council member seats are Randy L. Bettinger, Penny LaPlante, Paul Reighard and Malcolm T. Vinger II.

Oak Grove

Mark Korin will be unopposed for another four-year term as mayor of Oak Grove.

Incumbents Dan Denno and Mike Wylie are seeking another four years as Oak Grove council members and are being challenged by Paul M. Tradewell.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]