The focus of most candidates vying for state legislative offices representing Bloomington and Richfield is on November’s election, but candidates in two districts will have to advance through the August primary.
One primary race is for candidates on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ticket in House District 63B, which serves a portion of Richfield and Minneapolis. The seat is open for the first time in decades, as Jean Wagenius is retiring at the conclusion of her 17th term. Three Democrats filed for her seat by the June 2 deadline: Husniyah Dent Bradley, Jerome Evans and Emma Greenman.
Following the Aug. 11 primary, the winner will face Republican candidate Frank Pafko and Legal Marijuana Now candidate Dennis Schuller in November.
Richfield’s other house seat features an incumbent Democrat and a Republican challenger. House District 50A Rep. Michael Howard, who represents precincts in Bloomington and Richfield, will face Republican Tim Johnson.
Of Richfield’s two senate seats, there will be a three-way race on the November ballot for Senate District 63. Democratic incumbent Patricia Torres Ray is being challenged by Republican Diane Napper and Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis candidate Chris Wright.
Senate District 50 incumbent Democrat Melissa Halvorson Wiklund will be challenged by Republican Dean Mumbleau.
Voters in House District 50B, wholly within Bloomington, will choose between Democratic incumbent Andrew Carlson and Republican challenger Gary Heyer.
House District 49B includes precincts in west Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka. Democratic incumbent Steve Elkins will face Republican challenger Joe Thalman.
Senate District 49 incumbent Democrat Melisa Franzen is unopposed in the primary election, but Republican voters have two candidates to choose between in August, as Julie Duprè and Jenny Rhoades have filed for the seat.
The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners will hold an election this fall for four of its seven seats, including its District 5 seat, which serves Bloomington and Richfield. Incumbent Debbie Goettel has filed for re-election and will be challenged by Boni Njenga for the nonpartisan seat.
Seats on the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners are also up for election this fall, including District 5, which serves Bloomington and two Richfield precincts. Incumbent John Gibbs is the lone candidate for the nonpartisan seat.
Richfield will have a city council election this year, and it includes a primary.
Longtime Richfield City Councilmember Edwina Garcia, representing Ward 2, is not seeking re-election. In her place, three candidates will square off in an Aug. 11 primary: Barry LeBlanc, Sean Hayford Oleary and Gordon Vizecky. The top two candidates will advance to the Nov. 3 ballot.
In Ward 1, incumbent Simon Trautmann is being challenged by Ruane Onesirosan in November.
Ward 3 incumbent Ben Whalen is unopposed on the Nov. 3 ballot.
– Compiled by Raymond T. Rivard and Mike Hanks