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The filing period to run for public office in Minnesota closed today and we now know who is running for election in 2022 to represent West St. Paul from the city to state level. Mayor Dave Napier is unopposed, meanwhile both returning council members face opposition and Ward 1 is an open race with two familiar candidates.
There will be a primary on August 9 for several state and county positions, and the general election will be on November 8.
Candidates have until June 2 to drop out, so the list isn’t completely official (one candidate in Ward 2 did drop out). Look for our continuing election coverage as we approach the primary and general election.
West St. Paul
Here in West St. Paul, the mayor and one council seat in each of the three wards are on the ballot. Use this city map to find out which ward you live in (note that there were recent changes to the wards).
- Dave Napier (incumbent) (campaign site) – First elected as mayor in 2018, former council member from 2013 to 2018.
City Council Ward 1
- Pat Armon – Former council member (2013-2016) and currently serving on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
- Kimetha “KaeJae” Johnson (campaign site) – Founder of Residents of Color Collective and ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2020.
City Council Ward 2
- John Justen (incumbent) (campaign site) – First elected in 2018.
City Council Ward 3
There are several races in Dakota County, including county commissioner, county attorney, and county sheriff (all four-year terms). While attorney and sheriff are county-wide positions, commissioners represent districts and West St. Paul is in District 2.
- Kathy Keena (incumbent) (campaign site) – Appointed in 2021 after the resignation of Jim Backstrom.
- Elizabeth Lamin (campaign site) – Current assistant prosecutor for Ramsey County, finalist along with Keena for the appointment in 2021.
- Matt Little (campaign site) – Former state senator and mayor of Lakeville.
- Jeff Sheridan (campaign site) – Longtime lawyer.
- Joe Leko (campaign site) – The current Dakota County Chief Deputy announced his campaign shortly after incumbent Sheriff Tim Leslie bowed out.
County Commissioner District 2
- Joe Atkins (campaign site)– The incumbent District 4 commissioner was moved into District 2 thanks to redistricting.
- Jimmy Francis (campaign site) – Current South St. Paul mayor
- John Wheeler – No information.
Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor District 2
- Laura Zanmiller (incumbent) – We interviewed Zanmiller in 2020 about what this position entails.
Due to redistricting, West St. Paul is now divided into two separate legislative districts.
House District 53A
- Mary Frances Clardy (DFL) (campaign site) – Current ISD 199 school board member.
- Brent Jacobson (Legal Marijuana Now) – No information.
- Todd Kruse (GOP) – Previously ran unsuccessfully for Inver Grove Heights City Council in 2018 and ISD 199 school board in 2017.
House District 65B
- Anna Botz (DFL) (campaign site) – A photographer, small business owner, West Sider, and self-described “neighborhood lady who happens to care a lot.”
- Kevin Fjelsted (GOP) – No information.
- María Isa (DFL) (campaign site) – A community organizer, recording artist, and West Sider, Isa received the DFL endorsement.
Senate District 53
- Matt Klein (DFL) (incumbent) (campaign site) – First elected in 2016, former ISD 197 school board member.
- Chris Rausch (GOP) – No campaign site yet, but he is on Twitter.
Senate District 65
- Zuki Ellis (DFL) (campaign site) – Current St. Paul school board member.
- Sheigh Freeberg (DFL) (campaign site) – Union organizer in St. Paul.
- Sandy Pappas (DFL) (incumbent) (campaign site) – First elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1990, Pappas received the DFL endorsement.
- Paul Holmgren (GOP) (campaign site) – Ran for this seat in 2020.
Based on who’s running (and assuming no one drops out), we’ve got a few nerdy election facts:
- Unopposed: The last unopposed mayoral race was 2012.
- No city primary: 2014 was the last year with no primary for West St. Paul offices. This also continues the streak of no primaries for Ward 2. 1996 was the last time Ward 2 had a primary.
- Primary: There will be a primary on August 9 for Dakota County Commissioner, Dakota County Attorney, House District 65B, and Senate District 65.
- Congress: The race for the 2nd Congressional District will be a three-way contest between incumbent Angie Craig, 2020 challenge Tyler Kistner, and 2016 challenger Paula Overby.
- Judges: All the judicial races on the West St. Paul ballot will be uncontested. That means perennial candidate Michelle MacDonald, who has law offices on Robert Street, will not be on the ballot for State Supreme Court after running for the last four straight elections.
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