Incumbents top primaries in Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul

Ballots set for general election

Many of the "usual suspects" will face off in Nov. 4's general election, as most political veterans topped Tuesday's primary election in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights. 
In Inver Grove Heights, two city council seats were open in the Aug. 12 primary. Incumbent Rosemary Piekarski Krech and Bill Klein were top 2 finishers in the primary. They'll face off against Paul Hark and Paul Tuschy, who came in a close third and fourth place finish. 
Making this portion of the process relatively easy for him, George Tourville filed unopposed to keep his Inver Grove Heights mayorship.  
In South St. Paul, all three incumbents — Todd Podgorski, Marilyn Rothecker, and Tom Seaberg — were top-three finishers as well. Podgorski came away with the highest vote total, at 23.2 percent. 
Their challengers for those three seats in fall's election will be: Shawn Meck, Krystle Christensen and Luke Ayala. 
The filing period for entities without the possibility of a primary ended Aug. 12.
Only three candidates filed for the four at-large seats that are up on the South St. Paul School Board. Those positions are currently held by: Lisa Rother (Ward 2, vice chair), Wendy Felton (at-large, secretary-clerk), Deborah Clark (Ward 1, inspector), Amy Williams (Ward 3, treasurer). Clark and Rother have not filed for re-election. Newcomer Kristie Hood has filed, along with incumbents Wendy Felton and Amy Williams.
November ballots in races that didn't have a primary election:
West St. Paul
West St. Paul filings remain the same, with only the seats of Mayor and Ward 3 council member seeing a competitor. 
- Mayor: David Meisinger, John Zanmiller (incumbent)
- Ward 1 council member: Richard Vitelli (unopposed incumbent)
- Ward 2 council member: Ed Iago (unopposed incumbent)
- Ward 3 council member: John Bellows and John Ramsay
Sunfish Lake
- Mayor: Molly Park (unopposed incumbent)
- Two council seats: Mike Hovey and JoAnne Wahlstrom (unopposed incumbents)
- Mayor: Anita Pampusch (unopposed incumbent)
- Two council seats: Robert Bullard and John Diehl (unopposed incumbents)
- Mayor: Brian Mielke (unopposed incumbent)
- Two council seats: Melody Rasmussen (unopposed incumbent)
Mendota Heights
- Mayor: Sandra Krebsbach (incumbent), Neil Garlock
- Two council seats: Ultan Duggan (incumbent), Liz Petschel (incumbent), Jill Smith, Sally Lorberbaum, Joel Paper and Mark Misukanis
Dakota County
- Commissioner for District 2 (South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, a portion of Inver Grove Heights): Kathleen Gaylord (incumbent) and Bill Jungbauer
- Dakota County Attorney: James Backstrom (unopposed incumbent)
- Dakota County Sheriff: Herb Kotek and Tim Leslie
State representatives
-District 52A (includes Lilydale, West St. Paul, South St. Paul): Joe Blum (Republican) and Rick Hansen (DFL, incumbent)
-District 52B (includes Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake): Joe Atkins (DFL, incumbent) and Don Lee (Republican)
- District 54A (includes South St. Paul, Newport, Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park): Matthew Kowalski (Republican) and Dan Schoen (DFL, incumbent)
You can reach Tim Faklis at 651-748-7814, or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.
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