The Stillwater City Council next year will likely have a woman serving on it for the first time in more than a decade, and possibly for just the fifth time since the council's first meeting in 1854.

Ward 2 incumbent David Junker has chosen not to run for re-election, and two candidates are vying for the seat: Lindsay Belland, a University of Minnesota Foundation event planner, and Sirid Kellermann, a biotechnology consultant and the chair of the city's Human Rights Commission.

Men have dominated local politics in Stillwater even as other Washington County cities and townships have seen more balanced representation. Stillwater has had 51 mayors, all men, going back to its first, John McKusick, who was elected in 1854. The first woman on the City Council, Ann Bodlovick, served from 1974 to 1994. Cassie Jo McLemore was the most recent woman to run for City Council in Stillwater, losing out to future Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski in 2012.

Kellerman and other members of the Human Rights Commission last fall asked why more women haven't run for positions in local politics, finding it was most likely due to a variety of reasons.

Across Washington County, women make up about 30% of local government and about 35% of elected officials statewide, according to the research by the commission.