Lino Lakes City Council candidate William Kusterman held onto a narrow two-vote lead during a recount this week. Kusterman and incumbent Rob Rafferty will start their four-year terms on the City Council in January.
Four candidates ran for two at-large seats on the council.
Rafferty sailed to victory with 866 votes. Park Board member Kusterman finished second with 785 votes, followed by Melissa Maher with 783 votes. A fourth candidate who didn’t actively campaign, Park Board member Bryon Roland, garnered 238 votes.
Maher asked for a recount. Election judges conducted the hand recount, as per state statute, this week. Maher and a representative for Kusterman watched the recount, city staff said.
One ballot with extraneous marks that the voting machine had discarded as an “over vote” was discovered during the recount. That voter voted for Kusterman and Maher, said Lino Lakes City Clerk Julie Bartell.
“Since there was no net change, everything will stand as is,” Bartell said.
Rafferty, 57, has served on the City Council for four years. He is the director of information systems and a minority owner in Rafferty Rafferty Tollefson Lindeke Architects in St. Paul. Kusterman, 52, is an executive director of Ernst & Young in Minneapolis.