Former Lino Lakes Mayor Jeff Reinert won this week’s special election for the Anoka County Board’s Sixth District seat, marking the first time in nearly nine months that the board will be at full capacity.
The seat opened up in May when former Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah stepped down to become county administrator. Six candidates vied for the vacant seat in a November special primary election, which narrowed the field to Reinert and former Spring Lake Park Mayor Cindy Hansen.
Reinert won Tuesday with 53% of the vote, besting Hansen’s 47%. Reinert will fill out the remaining months of Sivarajah’s term, which ends in December. He will have to hit the campaign trail again for the November election, when he said he’s looking forward to contending for a full four-year term.
As is often the case with special elections, voter turnout Tuesday was low. Paul Linnell, the county’s elections manager, said special elections — particularly those that don’t overlap with regularly scheduled elections — usually draw fewer voters. Of 30,200 registered in the Sixth District, just 2,266 voted Tuesday.
Reinert, 59, is a lifelong resident of Lino Lakes, where he served 10 years as mayor and 10 years on the City Council. His father, Vernon, also served on the council and as mayor. Reinert is president and co-founder of MNPHARM, a molecular farming manufacturer based in White Bear Lake.
The Sixth District forms the county’s east side and includes Lino Lakes, Lexington, Columbus, Circle Pines, Centerville, Linwood Township and three precincts in Blaine.