Hennepin County voters on Tuesday reshaped the County Board, electing three new commissioners to seats vacated by longtime incumbents and reelecting the lone incumbent seeking another term. In Ramsey County, three commissioners from suburban districts were seeking re-election, but results were not available at press time.
The state’s most populous county, where commissioners oversee a $2.5 billion budget, will see three new County Board members in 2021.
With all precincts reporting, Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde held a 2% lead over De’Vonna Pittman, the county’s disparity reduction coordinator, for the First District seat in the northeastern suburbs. Commissioner Mike Opat, who has held the seat for nearly three decades, did not seek re-election. Lunde, who has served as mayor since 2011, pointed to his experience as a collaborator who gets things done.
In the southwestern Sixth District, Chris LaTondresse, vice chairman of the Hopkins school board, had a 6% lead over Dario Anselmo, a former Edina legislator who once owned the Fine Line Music Cafe. LaTondresse, who said his priority is affordable housing, was poised to take over the seat vacated by Commissioner Jan Callison.
Technical architect Kevin Anderson held a 3% lead over Danny Nadeau, the assistant to departing Commissioner Jeff Johnson. Anderson will move into the seat vacated by Johnson, representing the county’s large northwestern Seventh District. He said in the campaign that he was interested in improving mental health and other human services.
Commissioner Debbie Goettel won 73% of the vote, easily defeating challenger Boni Njenga in the Fifth District.
With all precincts reporting, Commissioner Jeff Reinert carved out a 5% lead over former Spring Lake Park Mayor Cindy Hansen in their fourth contest this year; they faced each other in special primary and general election contests last winter, and then squared off again in an August primary. In a First District battle characterized by charges of misdeeds on both sides, Commissioner Matt Look handily defeated Ramsey Mayor John LeTourneau.
Three commissioners on the Ramsey County Board, which commands a $750 million budget, were seeking reelection. Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt faced a challenge from Kevin Berglund, Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire competed against Dan McGrath, and Commissioner Nicole Joy Frethem, who was elected last year in a special election, was facing Dennis Dunnigan.