With filing closed for primary-eligible elections, a number of local races are set to have primaries Aug. 11. Absentee voting for primaries opens Friday, June 26.

In cities and school districts where a primary is not possible, candidates will file between July 28 and Aug. 11.

There will be primaries this year in all three area congressional districts.

In the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Coon Rapids, DFL incumbent Dean Phillips, of Deephaven, faces a primary challenge from Cole Young, of Edina. On the Republican side, Leslie Davis and Kendall Qualls are seeking a place on the November ballot. Qualls, of Medina, has the Republican endorsement.

It’s a crowded field in 5th District, which includes the Anoka County communities of Columbia Heights, Fridley and Spring Lake Park. DFL incumbent Ilhan Omar has four primary challengers: Les Lester, John Mason, Daniel McCarthy and Antone Melton-Meaux. Three contenders have filed to run as Republicans: Dalia Al-Aqidi, Lacy Johnson and Danielle Stella. Johnson, a resident of Northeast Minneapolis, has the Republican nomination. Michael Moore, the Legal Marijuana Now candidate, doesn’t face a primary and goes straight to the November ballot.

Rep. Tom Emmer, the Republican incumbent from Delano in the 6th District, once again has a challenge from Patrick Munro. Munro ran unsuccessfully against Emmer in 2016 and 2018. Former Mrs. Minnesota America and TV personality Tawnja Zahradka earned the DFL endorsement in the 6th District and will face the Republican primary winner in November.

Only two local Minnesota House races have primaries.

In District 31A, Republican incumbent and minority leader Kurt Daudt, of Crown, faces a challenge from Beau Hullermann, of Zimmerman. DFLer Brad Brown, who also ran in 2018, will compete with the Republican primary winner in November.

To the south in District 38A a primary will determine which Republican candidate will be on the ballot instead of Republican Rep. Linda Runbeck, who isn’t seeking reelection. Kelly Gunderson, Doug Malsom and Donald Raleigh have filed as Republicans. Kris Fredrick was the only DFL candidate to file, so his name will appear on the November general election ballot.

Get ready for déjà vu in the Anoka County Board District 6 race. That race’s primary pits incumbent Jeff Reinert, of Lino Lakes, against Cindy Hansen, of Lino Lakes, and Kevin Ryan, of Stacy. Reinert defeated Hansen in a special election for the seat in February of this year. Ryan also ran in a special primary for the seat last November but only earned about 4% of the vote.

In Anoka Mayor Phil Rice faces a repeat challenge from Shane Perry, who also ran in 2018, and they’re joined on the primary ballot by Barbara Deeds Baldwin. The primary will eliminate one of the three candidates.

In Blaine, where longtime Mayor Tom Ryan is retiring, a primary will narrow down the options from five to two. Ward 3 Council Member Richard Paul is seeking the mayor’s office, as are Stephen Berk, Mike Bourke, Keri Rose and Tim Sanders.

Like Mayor Ryan, Blaine’s Ward 1 Council Member Dick Swanson isn’t seeking reelection. Tom Newland, Jason Smith and Morgan Wells are competing in the primary.

In Blaine’s Ward 3, Council Member Andy Garvais is challenged by Jim Bebeau and Chris Massoglia.

The Columbia Heights City Council primary will narrow the field from seven to four candidates, who will compete for two seats in the November election. Incumbents Connie Buesgens and Robert “Bobby” Williams are seeking reelection and are challenged by Laura Dorle, Kay “KT” Jacobs, Andy Newton, Scott Skaja and Julienne Wyckoff.

In Coon Rapids, at-large City Council Member Steve Wells is not running for reelection. A primary will eliminate one of the three candidates seeking to be on the November ballot. Primary contenders are Pat Carlson, Christopher Geisler and Pablo Hernandez Jr. Christopher Geisler is the son of Jennifer Geisler, the incumbent running for reelection in the city’s Ward 4.

The Coon Rapids City Council Ward 4 race also has a primary. In addition to Jennifer Geisler, Jeff Cosman and Sheila Joy Rose will be on the August ballot.

This story has been updated to correct the gender of Minnesota House candidate Kris Fredrick. Fredrick is a male.


(1) comment


I and the other mayoral candidates in Blaine represent many different experiences and viewpoints. If the voters do their research, they will quickly find that only 2 candidates have the combination of leadership skills, experience, education, and vision to represent the city and influence its direction for the next 4 years and beyond. I’m looking forward to seeing what the voters decide.

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