Ramsey County commissioners hold onto seats

The incumbent Ramsey County commissioners easily held onto their spots on the board after Tuesday’s election.

There were only two contested races in the county board elections. Longtime incumbent Jim McDonough, representing District 6, ran unopposed.

District 3

Janice Rettman

Janice Rettman

Rafael Ortega

Rafael Ortega

Janice Rettman, serving District 3, was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote.

Ramsey County’s District 3 includes Falcon Heights, the Payne/Phalen neighborhood, North End/South Como, Como Park, Frogtown, Summit-University and Hamline-Midway.

Rettman has had a nearly 18-year tenure on the county board. She was challenged by 29-year-old Girard Goder, an environmental program supervisor for the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment.

Rettman said her goals for her next term will include creating “living and prevailing wage jobs,” pay equity, workforce development and tax-base restoration.

District 5

Rafael Ortega, serving District 5, earned 72 percent of the vote.

Ramsey County’s District 5 includes a variety of St. Paul neighborhoods: Capitol Heights, Dayton’s Bluff, Downtown, Highland, Macalester-Groveland, Railroad Island, West Seventh and West Side.

Ortega has been a county commissioner for almost 20 years. He was challenged by 70-year-old Charles Barklind, who is a newspaper carrier for an independent delivery service and a caddy at North Oaks Golf Club.

Ortega said his priorities for the coming term will include continuing to build the regional transportation network and rebuilding the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant and other key sites in Ramsey County, in hopes of creating jobs and spreading the property-tax burden.

—Patick Larkin


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