New challenger in Wyoming mayoral race
Two years after a controversial asphalt plant was built in Columbus, the municipal elections are still falling on divided lines.
The mayoral race for Columbus is a rematch of the 2018 election, which pitted former Mayor Dave Povolny against current Mayor Jesse Preiner, who ousted then-incumbent Povolny in the 2018 election following the city’s controversial decision to alter zoning code to allow an asphalt plant to be built in between the 35-E and 35-W split.
Jody Krebs is running for one of the two open seats on the council. She is a former member of the Columbus Planning Commission and wife of former Council Member Bill Krebs, a two-term council member who was also ousted from his seat in 2018 following the asphalt plant controversy. She joins current Planning Commission Chairman Ron Hanegraff, Tom Olson, Sue Wagamon, Robert Busch, Pat Clearence. Olson, a plant opponent, had initially filed to run for council in 2018, but withdrew his name before the Aug. 17 deadline. Current Council Members Denny Peterson and Jeff Duraine are not seeking re-election.
In Forest Lake, Mayor Mara Bain will be running unopposed. Council Member Sam Husnick is the only incumbent for the two spots open on council, as Council Member Paul Girard is not seeking reelection. Husnick is joined by Chairman of the Planning Commission Eric Langness, Tim Miller, Jim Schottmuller, and Hannah Valento.
Incumbent Lisa Iverson has filed again for Wyoming mayor, but unlike in 2018 when she ran unopposed, she now faces challenger Nick Kentros, who moved to Wyoming in 2015. In the race for two open council seats, incumbents Linda Nanko Yeager and Joe Zerwas will face off against Brett Ohnstad and Andrew Buccanero.
In Scandia, incumbent Christine Maefsky will face off again with Randall Simonson in the mayoral election. Greg Amundson, Heather Benson, James Gribble, Christopher Johnson, and incumbent Steve Kronmiller will be vying for two open seats on the council. Council Member Chris Ness is not seeking reelection.
Linwood’s township race will have Michael Parker, Carol Searing, and Timothy Peterson all running unopposed. Town Board Member Ed Kramer is not seeking reelection.
The school board race will continue to see familiar faces. Former board president Rob Raphael and current board president Jeff Peterson, in addition to incumbents Gail Theisen and Julie Corcoran, are all running unopposed. In a different race, current board member Kate Luthner is running against Minnesota State Sen. Michelle Benson for District 31 senator.