It was a good night to be an incumbent in Apple Valley and Rosemount.
With all votes counted, Apple Valley City Council members Tom Goodwin and Ruth Grendhahl were returned to office for another four years, defeating their three challengers: Michael Holsten, Wilma Ruppert and Nicholas Stepka.
Goodwin, who has served on the council since 1984, had 11,448 votes, or 31.86 percent of the total. Grendahl, first elected to the council in 1997, won 10,855, or 30.21 percent of the total.
Holsten, Rupper and Stepka wall received fewer than 5,000 votes.
Goodwin, reached at home late Tuesday, said the victory of council incumbents reflected the fact that "the city's in great shape."
Apple Valley, he noted, was recently named a Top 20 city by Money magazine; it has an AAA bond rating and it has lowered property taxes four out of the past five years. Going forward, he said, "We want to keep our finances up to the point where we don’t endanger our bond rating and keep our property taxes level."
Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland, who isn’t up for election this year, is next in line in senority. She has been on the the council since 1999.
In the Rosemount City Council contest, four candidates were running for two open seats. Incumbent Jeff Weisensel was returned to office with 4,759 votes, or 30.5 percent of the total. Vanessa Olson Demuth, a newcomer to elected office but a member of the city's Planning Commission, got 5,274 votes, or 33.8 percent.
Their opponents, Joe Kurle and Joseph P. Zanmiller, got 3,126 and 2,349 votes, respectively.
Demuth said her victory was the result of an effective campaign, during which she spoke with numerous city residents about their concerns. Those concerns, and her areas of focus as a city council member, include attracting more living-wage jobs to Rosemount nad building out the city's business park, as well as answering concerns about area gravel mining and the UMore site's development.
In short, "I'll be looking at responsible development," Demuth said.
Two council terms end at the end of this year. Weisensel sought re-election, but fellow council member Matt Kearney did not file. Kearney joined the council two years ago to fill the term of former council member and GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills, who lost to Amy Klobuchar.
Apple Valley City CouncilName Total Votes Percentage
Tom Goodwin11448 31.86
Ruth Grendahl10855 30.21
Michael Holsten4127 11.48
Wilma Ruppert4928 13.73
Rosemount City CouncilName Total Votes Percentage
Vanessa Olson Demuth5274 33.80
Joe Kurle3126 20.03
Jeff Weisensel*4759 30.50
Joseph P. Zanmiller2349 15.05