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BEMIDJI CITY COUNCIL: Erickson holds off Heinonen; Meehlhause, Johnson run unopposed

BEMIDJI--The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision.

BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision. "It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice."
With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012. "I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward." Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining. "On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other."   Wards 1 and 3 While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956609","attributes":{"alt":"Michael Meehlhause","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Michael Meehlhause","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed. Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council. A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown. Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956611","attributes":{"alt":"Ron Johnson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Ron Johnson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center. Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision. "It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956605","attributes":{"alt":"Nancy Erickson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Nancy Erickson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012. "I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward." Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining. "On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other."   Wards 1 and 3 While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier.
That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed. Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council. A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown. Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956611","attributes":{"alt":"Ron Johnson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Ron Johnson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center. Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision. "It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956605","attributes":{"alt":"Nancy Erickson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Nancy Erickson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012. "I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward." Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining. "On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other."   Wards 1 and 3 While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956609","attributes":{"alt":"Michael Meehlhause","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Michael Meehlhause","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]] That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed. Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council. A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown. Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council.
With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center. Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision."It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice."
With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012."I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward."Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining."On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other." Wards 1 and 3While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956609","attributes":{"alt":"Michael Meehlhause","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Michael Meehlhause","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed.Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council.A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown.Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956611","attributes":{"alt":"Ron Johnson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Ron Johnson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center.Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision."It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice."[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956605","attributes":{"alt":"Nancy Erickson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Nancy Erickson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012."I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward."Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining."On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other." Wards 1 and 3While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier.
That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed.Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council.A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown.Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956611","attributes":{"alt":"Ron Johnson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Ron Johnson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center.Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.BEMIDJI-The race Bemidji City Council Ward 5 came down to the wire Tuesday night, with incumbent Nancy Erickson managing to edge her challenger Don Heinonen by just 18 votes in a 682-664 decision."It was a squeaker, it was the closest race I've ever won. Don was a very tough opponent and came prepared," Erickson said Wednesday. "I think he would have served this ward well, so it was a very tough choice."[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956605","attributes":{"alt":"Nancy Erickson","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Nancy Erickson","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]With the victory, Erickson, 69, earned a fourth term on the council, having served from 2000-2008 and then winning re-election in 2012."I'm thankful that I was able to make it through this one and I certainly will continue to serve the public to the best of my ability," Erickson said. "I represent everybody the same. I'm hoping that I will receive their (Heinonen voters) support as well and I'm looking forward to supporting everyone in my ward."Heinonen, a 53-year-old certified automotive service excellence master technician at Kenny's Clark and Goodyear, said it was disappointing to be unsuccessful when coming so close, but still found a silver lining."On the other hand, I take it as somewhat of a win," Heinonen said. "To be so close, within 18 votes, was good to see. At the very least it wasn't a landslide in one direction or the other." Wards 1 and 3While the Ward 5 election turned into a nail-biter Tuesday, the results for the two other City Council members seeking more terms painted a clear picture much earlier.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2956609","attributes":{"alt":"Michael Meehlhause","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"Michael Meehlhause","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]That's because Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause and Ward 3 representative Ron Johnson ran for their seats unopposed.Meehlhause, an elementary technology teacher with Bemidji Area Schools amassed 924 votes in his bid, earning a second term with the council.A BSU graduate, Meehlhause said before the election that his priorities will be continuing development of multiple areas in the city, such as Lake Bemidji's south shore and the rail corridor near downtown.Johnson, meanwhile, earned 1,117 votes Tuesday, winning a fifth term on the council. First elected to the governing body in 2000, Johnson is the longest serving member on the council.
With the election finished, Johnson said he wants to focus on an effort to transition away from the city's contract with the company VenuWorks that manages the Sanford Center.Johnson works as a design/promotion manager at Lakeland Public Television.

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