Falcon Heights City Council receiving two new members

Peter Lindstrom
Peter Lindstrom
Joe Brown Thunder
Joe Brown Thunder
Randy Gustafson
Randy Gustafson
Tony Fischer
Tony Fischer

Retains two others

In the Falcon Heights city election Nov. 3, incumbents and newcomers went halfsies on seats.

Incumbent Mayor Peter Lindstrom cruised to a third 4-year term as mayor, besting challenger Lisa McDonald by garnering nearly 82 percent of the vote.

Lindstrom posted a thank you to supporters on Twitter hours after polls closed and Falcon Heights' two precincts worth of votes were in.

"Many thanks to voters for entrusting me [with] another term as your mayor," he tweeted, punctuating it with the hashtag, "#Honored."

Incumbent council member Joe Brown Thunder, who was appointed to the council in October of 2014, received the most votes in a field of four candidates for two full-term council seats with just more than 36 percent of the vote.

Newly elected council member Randy Gustafson, who nabbed more than 25 percent of the vote to win the other open full-term council seat, said he was "humbled and honored" by the win. He beat out challengers Gordon Strom and Tom Brace for the spot.

"Folks probably trust me to make the right decisions," Gustafson, a public communications and crime prevention coordinator for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, said the morning after the election, adding that he's lived in the city for decades and that people recognize him.

Gustafson had previously thrown his hat into the ring -- along with 15 others -- for the 2014 council vacancy ultimately filled by Brown Thunder. He ran again this year at the urging of Lindstrom.

"Peter said, 'Why don't you give it some thought?'" Gustafson remembered.

The other council candidates "were high-quality individuals," Gustafson said, adding that getting to know them put him at ease. "No matter how [the election] turned out I was going to be pleased with the results."

Looking ahead, Gustafson touched on points he'd made during his campaign.

"Fortunately we don't have a lot of controversy in the city, but we do have our challenges," he said noting that housing for both older residents and young families will be an issue.

Brown Thunder vacated his appointed seat, the term of which ends Jan. 1, 2018. Tony Fischer edged out fellow hopeful Michael Tracy for the seat, winning nearly 60 percent of the vote in the two-person race.

"I'm excited to dive into things," Fischer said the morning after the election, adding that he'll be talking to residents and reading up on city issues to get ready for the council.

Fischer, a freeway analysis supervisor at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said he ran for the partial term seat as a way to "dip my toe in the water" and said his candidacy was the culmination of long-held interests.

"I don't know if there was a moment [I decided to run]," Fischer said, "I've just always been interested in public policy."

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.

Falcon Heights Nov. 3 election results via the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

There were 3,072 registered voters as of 7 a.m. on election day.

Candidate Total votes Percentage
Lisa McDonald 95 17.46%
Peter Lindstrom 445 81.80%
Write-in 4 0.74%


Council member
Candidate Total votes Percentage
Joe Brown Thunder 349 36.39%
Gordon Strom 171 17.83%
Randy Gustafson 244 25.44%
Tom Brace 190 19.81%
Write-in 5 0.52%

Special Election for partial-term council member

Candidate Total votes Percentage
Tony Fischer 276 59.61%
Michael Tracy 181 39.09%
Write-in 6 1.30%


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