A look at the mayoral elections in the inner-ring suburbs of Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park:
Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson squeaked out a victory against challenger Mike Elliott, a businessman who had promised change and a higher profile for the city.
Willson won his third term by less than 2 percent of the vote. Willson successfully argued that the city's lowest crime rate in decades and a string of redevelopment successes proved he was on the right course. Elliott, who immigrated to the United States from Liberia as a child, campaigned on change.
Brooklyn Center is the state's most diverse city. More than half of its 31,000 residents are racial minorities, and 24 percent are foreign-born.
"I am looking forward to continuing the work I have already done for eight years," Willson said. "It's a long process to redevelop a city and breathe new life into it. I am happy to be able to continue to do so."
Willson, 61, entered politics in his hometown of Kasota, Minn., where he served on the City Council in the 1980s. He and his wife moved to Brooklyn Center in 1990.
Willson works for MN.IT Services, the state's IT agency, and is the chief technology officer for the state Office of Management and Budget.
He is married to state Sen. Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center. They have two children. When their 23-year-old daughter died of a heroin overdose in 2007, they became advocates for a law allowing police and firefighters to administer a heroin antidote.
Willson was elected mayor in 2006, when the city was struggling with crime, a less-than-stellar reputation and an economy that many perceived to be in decline.
Since then, he told the Star Tribune during his campaign, "redevelopment has really taken off. We have made some really good choices and really supported development. Crime is down. Community is strong."
Elliott, 31, arrived in Minnesota at age 11 with his mother and his brother. He owns and operates Elliott Consulting Group.
In Brooklyn Park, Jeff Lunde beat health care business analyst Joy Marsh Stephens to win a second term as mayor in early results.
Lunde, who won by nearly 20 percentage points, said he wanted to continue his "good work."
Lunde, 46, became mayor in 2011, winning a 12-candidate special election to succeed Steve Lampi, who had died of cancer. He is a senior technical account manager at VMware.
Stephens, 43, was endorsed by the Brooklyn Park DFL caucus. She is associate director of business analysis at UnitedHealth Group.