Making sense of the Oakdale mayoral special election

Paul Reinke

When looking at election materials for Oakdale mayor, it might, at first glance, look a bit like musical chairs. 

A special election for the position will be held Aug. 14 — the same day as the primary election for many federal, state and county positions — but the seat will also be on the general election ballot Nov. 6.

This is because the special election is for a five-month term as mayor, the tail end of a term the city’s former mayor Stan Karwoski took on in 2015. 

Karwoski resigned from the position near the end of 2016 to take a seat on the Washington County Board. Paul Reinke, who had been a council member since 2005, was appointed to fill in as mayor until a special election could be held. Reinke was also runner-up in the most recent mayoral election.

The special election is required because there were more than two years remaining on the term, but the city was able to tack the special election onto an already established election — the Aug. 14 primary. 

The filing period for the special election ended June 5, and Reinke is the only one who filed. His will be the only name listed on the ballot for the position.

“It’s an honor and privilege to serve,” Reinke said. “I take it as a very significant responsibility to perform the role of mayor and I’m appreciative of our staff and the department heads and the great residents.”

In the very likely event that Reinke is voted in as mayor in the special election, he will be sworn in following the election in August and will serve until the next mayor, elected in November, is sworn in the first week of January, 2019.

The candidate filing period for the full mayoral term opens July 31 and runs through Aug. 14.

Reinke declined to confirm if he will be filing for candidacy for that full mayoral term, which runs through 2022.


— Aundrea Kinney

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