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Rauterkus, Norton to be sworn in

Ralph Rauterkus and Becky Norton won their respective special elections Tuesday and will be sworn in Aug. 27. Both also will find themselves in the unusual situation of being short-term incumbents who will need to win re-election Nov. 6.

It's complicated. That's politics in Red Wing this year because of three City Council resignations.

Rauterkus won from a field of six to replace Dustin Schulenberg, who resigned this spring and the existing term expires January 2019.

Rauterkus and Laurel Stinson emerged from that same field of six in the At-Large primary, which also took place Tuesday. They will face off again.

"I'm so appreciative of all the folks who voted on Tuesday, voting is a such privilege. I was happy to see many candidates as it gives voters options. I consider it an honor to serve at the local government level," Rauterkus said. "For me, it's time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. My priority is to dive more into the details of the 2019 budget as there are only a few weeks before the 2019 preliminary levy and budget come before the council for a vote."

The vote totals for the two contests on the same ballot were not the same. The votes for the primary election were:

Rauterkus, 970; Stinson, 649; Christopher Nelson, 564; Bill McKinley, 445; Tony Wiech, 412;

Alan Muller, 178.

The votes for the special election were:

Rauterkus, 850; Stinson, 695; Christopher Nelson, 579; Bill McKinley, 452; Tony Wiech, 407;

Alan Muller, 192.

"I am very encouraged by the results of the primary. I may have come in second but the numbers show there is definitely reason to be hopeful for the general election and working toward that goal begins now. It is time for me and my supporters to reach for the straps of our Red Wing boots," Stinson said.

"The primary process has been a great learning experience for me," she added. "I have taken to heart the goals and ideas of my opponents and though four of them will not be continuing on to the election in November, I intend to carry their concerns with me as I move forward."

In the Ward 3 special election to succeed Dan Munson, who also resigned earlier this year, Norton defeated Ted Seifert, 605-341. They will face each other again Nov. 6.

"Ward 3 primary turnout was average compared to the full state turnout. It is unfortunate that primaries and special elections held in August have such low participation. I do understand families are engaged in barbecues, vacations and other fun stuff. I do think the special election results may delay for this year a serious attempt by the council to gain control of city spending. But I do expect that the voters will be re-engaged in the relevant issues by the time the general election rolls around in November," Seifert said.

Since there were no more than the two candidates, there was no primary election in this face.

"I'm so grateful to those who have put their trust in me to be their voice. I'm excited for the opportunity to represent Ward 3. Please reach out to me with any concerns or ideas you have for Red Wing," Norton said. "I will continue to work hard to serve Ward 3 and earn their votes in November as their council member for the next term."

Wards 1 & 2, 4

There were two other primary races, however.

In the combined Ward 1 and 2, incumbent Dean Hove survived the primary challenge 763 to Stephanie Elsen's 535 and George Hintz's 464. Elsen will take on Hove again in the general election. The big question will be who Hintz's supporters back.

In the Ward 4 primary, Erin Buss (254) and Burke Murphy (217) outpaced Ernest Stone (154). Since two women emerged from the primary, it's guaranteed that there will be a woman on the council come January 2019.

There was no Ward 4 incumbent; Peggy Rehder — the only woman on the council — resigned this spring.

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson is news director with RiverTown Multimedia. 

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