Two Washington County Board seats are in contention this fall, and several cities will have new mayors and other leaders.
With the closing of candidate filings last week, election ballots are set for local and state general elections on Nov. 4.
In Washington County, two incumbent county commissioners, Autumn Lehrke and Ted Bearth, have each drawn opponents in their bids for re-election. The other three County Board seats are not in contention this year.
Lehrke has represented District 4 since 2010. The district encompasses the southern portion of the county including Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport and Grey Cloud Island and Denmark townships. She is being challenged by former state Rep. Karla Bigham.
Bearth was elected in 2012 to represent District 2, which lies along the county’s western edge, including Oakdale, parts of Woodbury, Landfall, Pine Springs, Willernie and part of Mahtomedi. He faces a challenge from Jeremy Olson of Woodbury.
County Sheriff Bill Hutton and County Attorney Pete Orput are running unopposed for re-election. Hutton has been sheriff since 2006, and Orput is seeking his second term.
More details about the candidates in state and local elections, and the issues, will be forthcoming as the election nears — including in the Star Tribune Voters Guide, which will be published a week or so before Election Day.
Here is how the ballots look where there are contested elections:
Afton: Three of the five City Council seats are in contention. Mayor Richard Bend, appointed late last year after Patricia Snyder abruptly resigned, is being challenged by Bill Whalen. Incumbent Peg Nolz is being challenged by Stan Ross in Ward 3, and incumbent Joe Richter in Ward 2 is unopposed.
Bayport: Mayor Susan St. Ores is running unopposed. Three candidates have filed for two City Council seats: Incumbents Michele Hanson and Patrick McGann, and Brian Delisle.
Cottage Grove: Five candidates are vying for two City Council seats. They are incumbents Derrick Lehrke and Dave Thiede and challengers Steve Dennis, Matt Erickson and Tasha Steinmetz.
Denmark Township: Three of the Township Board’s five seats are up for election, but only one race is contested. Incumbent Kathy Higgins faces a challenge from Steve Kramer.
Forest Lake: The city will have a new mayor after incumbent Chris Johnson did not file for re-election. Former Mayor Stev Stegner and Brian David Hile are running for his seat. Incumbents Michael Freer and Susan Young are running again for their four-year, at-large City Council seats, challenged by Ed Eigner. There is also a two-year seat in contention. Molly Bonnett, appointed late last year, is not running. Michael Kuehn and Richard Weber are seeking that seat.
Grant: Five candidates are competing for two seats on the City Council: Incumbent David Tronrud and challengers Gary Baumann, Bruce Behymer, Larry Lanoux and Loren Sederstrom. Incumbent Steve Bohnen, the target of protracted legal action involving campaign signs in 2010, is not seeking re-election.
Lake Elmo: Four candidates are running for two City Council seats: Incumbents Wally Nelson and Michael Reeves are being challenged by Julie Fliflet and Jill Lundgren.
Lakeland: Mayor Bob Livingston did not file for re-election, and two City Council members, Asia Bednar and Amy Williams, are running for his seat. In the race for two other City Council seats, incumbents Richard Glasgow and Joe Paiement face challenges from Peter Decorsey and William Francel.
Lakeland Shores: Randy Kopesky did not file for re-election — but neither did anyone else. That opens the race up to a write-in campaign. Kopesky instead has filed to run for one of the two at-large City Council seats, along with incumbent Cary Ann Schroeder and challenger John Bischoff.