Tuesday’s primary election firmed up candidate fields for the fall in many Twin Cities suburbs, several of which will feature some interesting mayoral contests.
Current and past mayors will face off in Maplewood, where incumbent Marylee Abrams will be challenged by former Mayor Bob Cardinal for the city’s top job. It will be Abrams’ first electoral test as mayor; she was on the City Council when she was appointed mayor last year after then-Mayor Nora Slawik was named to head the Metropolitan Council.
Abrams received about half the primary votes, while Cardinal came in second with 27%. He served as mayor from 1999 to 2005, and has also served on the City Council.
Blaine residents will be electing their first new mayor in more than two decades this fall, as Mayor Tom Ryan steps down after 24 years in office. Nonprofit executive and former legislator Tim Sanders won the primary with nearly 48% of the vote; he will face sales manager and former City Council Member Mike Bourke, who captured 19%.
The Robbinsdale mayoral race will pit two community activists against each other. Longtime City Council Member Bill Blonigan, who heads the city’s Economic Development Authority, topped a field of seven candidates with 36% of the vote. His opponent will be sports magazine publisher Wally Langfellow, who collected 19% of the ballots.
In West St. Paul, Mayor Dave Napier will face Kimetha “Kae Jae” Johnson. Napier received 62% of the primary vote while Johnson, a community organizer, won 32%.
Anoka Mayor Phil Rice won about 60% of the votes in his effort to win a seventh term. He will face Barbara Deeds Baldwin, a retired college professor, who collected 28% of the vote. It will be the third time Baldwin has challenged Rice for the office; she said that “three terms [are] too many” for any elected position.
In Inver Grove Heights, only nine votes separated two City Council members who will square off to succeed retiring Mayor George Tourville. Business owner Brenda Dietrich got 41.28% of the vote, while Tom Bartholomew who works in finance, received 41.1%.
The race for the Sixth District seat on the Anoka County Board will be a repeat of the February special election between former Lino Lakes Mayor Jeff Reinert and former Spring Lake Park Mayor Cindy Hansen. Reinert, the incumbent, won 48% to Hansen’s 44%, a difference of only 251 votes. Reinert is president and co-founder of MNPHARM, a molecular farming manufacturer based in White Bear Lake, and Hansen has worked 20 years in nutrition services at Mounds View Public Schools.
A crowded field of six candidates vying for an open Dakota County Board seat was whittled to two, both of them familiar names in the south metro. State Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, who received 48% of the vote, will face former legislator Diane Anderson, who won 19% and served in the House as a Republican in 2011-12. The Third District seat, which covers Eagan, Mendota Heights, Mendota and Lilydale, has been held by Commissioner Tom Egan for four terms. Egan announced that he will retire at the end of the year.
Staff writers Erin Adler, Kim Hyatt, Shannon Prather and Katy Read contributed to this story.