Voters in Falcon Heights were opting for new faces at City Hall on Tuesday in the wake of the fatal shooting within their borders of Philando Castile.
Melanie Leehy, a black woman and a leader in the city’s effort to search for inclusive approaches to diversity, was the top vote-getter. She was elected along with fellow challenger Mark Miazga, while incumbent Tony Fischer trailed far behind.
In St. Paul Park, meanwhile, mayor-by-appointment Sandra Dingle was the overwhelming choice of voters to stay on as mayor-by-election, after the departure for the Legislature of former Mayor Keith Franke.
The election in Falcon Heights reflected aftershocks from the 2016 Castile shooting, including the tax implications of switching to a more expensive policing contract with Ramsey County after splitting away from St. Anthony.
Incumbent Fischer came closest to defending the status quo in the micro-suburb that is home to the State Fair.
Two slates of candidates faced off in New Brighton in the wake of a series of City Hall dramas over the past couple of years.
One incumbent declined to run, leaving Mayor Val Johnson and Council Member Gina Bauman as the main contestants.
Disputes between the two included a public shaming of Bauman and Bauman’s success in convincing a judge to cancel a 2016 election that she called improper.
In White Bear Lake, incumbent Jo Emerson and challenger Jeff Brown were competing for the mayor’s job.
Voters in St. Paul Park not only elected a mayor to fill the last two years of Franke’s unfinished term but also elected two at-large City Council members to four-year terms.
Incumbent Jeff Swenson was the top vote-getter, followed by challenger Bruce Zenner, after incumbent Gregory Jahner chose not to run for re-election.
In Mahtomedi, two City Council at-large members were elected to four-year terms. Jeff Ledermann and Steven Wolgamot will replace incumbents Joel Schilling and Lael Ramaley, neither of whom ran for re-election.