Election results: Johnson re-elected; two new faces on council

Dufour ousted as Winnick, Klein win seats on FL City Council


Clint Riese
News Editor

One Forest Lake race featured drama down to the wire, while the other was never close. In the end, only one of the two incumbents were left in office.

Mayor Chris Johnson coasted to victory in a three-man race against Bruce Anderson and Brian Hile. The local attorney will serve a second two-year team after gaining 55 percent of the 8466 ballots cast in Forest Lake on Election Day yesterday, Nov. 6.

Anderson had 3,088 votes, while 668 ballots were cast for Hile.

The closest anyone came to Johnson was in Precinct 1, where Anderson finished 234 votes back.

“I’m very happy with the results and look forward to working with the new councilmembers,” Johnson said after the final votes came in from Precinct 5.

The mayoral race was all but decided with four precincts reporting before 11 p.m., but Johnson had to wait until 1:20 a.m. for the votes to be counted in the city’s southwestern district.

The slow wait was more agonizing for the four City Council candidates, as the race for the second seat went down to the wire.

Ben Winnick steamrolled to a spot on the governing body, winning 5,305 votes. He is the owner of Winnick Supply on 11th Avenue SW.

He will be joined by Jeff Klein, who was picked on 3,363 ballots. Klein is senior manager of operations for the Minnesota Wild/Minnesota Sports and Entertainment.

Incumbent Jim Dufour (3,090) and Ed Eigner (3,027) rounded out the field. Dufour was elected in 2008.

Winnick earned the most votes in each precinct and was especially dominant in Precinct 3, where he outgained the next-closest candidate by 456 votes. Klein was runner-up in all but Precinct 3, where Eigner finished second.


Incumbents Jeff Duraine and Denny Peterson handily defeated challenger Glen Kothe in the race for seats on the Columbus city council.

Duraine received 1,582 votes and Peterson 1,249.

Kothe got 544 votes, and there were 24 write-ins.

In the mayoral race, Dave Povolny ran unopposed. A total of 1,774 voters voted for Povolny, and 47 wrote in names.


One town board supervisor was re-elected and two were defeated in the Linwood election on Nov. 6.

Incumbent Philip Osterhus narrowly defeated Jeffrey Schipper in the race for Seat B on the board. The votes were 1,210 for Osterhus versus 1,173 for Schipper, or 50.63% to 49.08%. Write-in names took 7 votes.

Challenger Carol Searing defeated incumbent Mike Parker for Seat C. Searing received 1,303 votes, compared to 1,133 for Parker. There were 4 write-in votes.

For Seat E there were three candidates. Edward Kramer defeated incumbent Michael Budde and Mark Olson. Kramer got 1,147 votes, Budde 759, and Olson 583. There were 3 write-in votes.

The other race was for city clerk. Incumbent Judith Hanna barely defeated challenger Sandra Mishler, with 1,347 votes compared to 1,313, with two write-ins. The percentages were 50.60 for Hanna and 49.32 for Mishler.


Incumbent Chris Ness and newcomer Dan Lee will serve on Scandia’s city council for the next four years.

Incumbent Connie Amos was defeated, as were the father/son duo of Bob and Dustin Hegland.

Mayor Randall Simonson ran for re-election unopposed.

Simonson took 97.5 percent of the votes for mayor, or 1814 out of 1860 votes cast. There were 46 write-ins.

Ness received 967 votes and Lee 925.

Amos garnered 723 votes. 597 voters chose Bob Hegland and 375 voted for Dustin Hegland.

Robert Pilz, who withdrew too late to have his name removed from the ballot, drew 188 votes.

25 persons wrote in names for council seats.


The current mayor and current city council members were re-elected in the Wyoming election on Nov. 6.

Incumbent mayor Eric Peterson defeated challenger Raymond VinZant, 2,554 votes to 1,192. There were 14 write-in votes.

Incumbent council members Linda Nanko Yeager and Joe Zerwas will also serve another term. Yeager received 1,800 votes and Zerwas 1,535.

The defeated challengers, from most votes received to least, were Claire Luger with 1,166, Dennis Williams with 847, Kriss Hakala with 733, and Stuart Stevermer with 225. Write-ins totaled 22.

  • Ted

    Too bad about Winnick. That place is an eyesore with all of the scrap metal next to the trail and I’m sure all of the runoff isn’t helping Clear Lake. Chances are, it will not get fixed while he’s in office…


      I think TED should get his head out of his GREEN cloud and check a few facts before critisizing MR Ben Winnick.
      The Winnick family has served and supported our community for three generation.
      Ben is a man of integrity and solid character and brings needed experience to the Counsil as a very informed businessman.
      To suggest he is selfserving and or selfdealing is pure ignorance.
      Your precious trail is paid for with taxes from the very businesses you choose to maline. Maybe it would better to be grateful than being a GREEN winer.

      • Chet

        Jerry, how about you look at the facts and the study that have prooved Winnick’s sCRAP pile IS contaminating Clear Lake. He doesn’t give a darn about the citizens of Forest Lake. The only thing Winnick was worried about is how much money it would have cost him to clean up that eyesore.

        • John Lewis

          To all the green extremist-
          The Winnick family business is a great asset to our community. I can only imagine the taxes Washington county receives from them is quite substantial. We should be encouraging more business in Forest Lake not demonizing them. If you want to see a real eyesore look at Northland Mall and all the other business locations have left and are empty. To all you greenies, the stores have led lights on special.

  • Ralph Peterson

    we get our culverts there and welding tanks at Winnicks and its bout time they get a real businessman in office to lower them biz taxes!

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