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GOP-backed Lunde wins Brooklyn Park mayor spot

With surprising ease, former City Council Member Jeffrey Lunde, the Republican-endorsed candidate, won the special election Saturday to become Brooklyn Park's new mayor.

Lunde will succeed Steve Lampi, who died earlier this year.

The election included a diverse range of 12 candidates.

The city — the sixth largest in the state — had about 39,000 registered voters. With 8,056 citizens casting votes, that represented a 20 percent turnout; Lunde captured 2,575 votes, or about 32 percent of those cast.

Because of so many candidates and the expected low turnout, city election officials were poised for a recount. But Lunde topped second-place finisher Tony Pistilli by nearly 1,000 votes. 

Lampi protege Wynfred Russell, the Liberian-born University of Minnesota social scientist, was seeking the office, but garnered less than 6 percent of the vote.

GOP state Chairman Tony Sutton congratulated Lunde on his victory:

“We would like to congratulate Jeff Lunde on a great campaign and on winning the special election for Mayor of Brooklyn Park. Jeff is a long-time resident of the city and is committed to our conservative principles. We look forward to seeing the work Jeff will accomplish as he works towards a better Brooklyn Park in the coming months."

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Comments (4)

Unbelievable! Watching Republicans throughout the country, at the state level and at the Federal level, destroy the bases of this great country: the middle class and the Constitution, I cannot believe this happened. I did not think that anyone reading the news or watching the situations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and many other states would want an ALEC carrying representative at any level of government. 20% vote? Brooklyn Park you deserve what you get. Next time try reading about what is going on in the country. Next time VOTE! Unbelievable!

But GOPer Lundie surely is opposed to abortion, right?

For many GOP voters, that's the only issue that counts.

Actually, Brooklyn Park doesn't deserve what they got. 68% of Brooklyn Park preferred other candidates. What they deserve is something different. But, with a plurality voting system the will of the majority can be lost in the mechanics of the system.

Also, 20% turnout in a municipal election doesn't seem that off. I looked up a 2009 citywide races in Bloomington race where 54k were registered on election day and turnout was about 8,500, Minneapolis with 231k registered, for mayor the turnout was around 45k(roughly), and for Savage a citywide race(I think) for council with about 15k you had well under 2k turnout. So actually BP was okay when you look at other municipal election results. That doesn't mean that all of us shouldn't be more engaged, but to call out BP for not voting misses the point.

The bigger point is the first one. If voters were given the option of ranking their candidates in order of preference and the mechanics of the system required a majority of 50% plus 1 I imagine BP would've gotten a different result.

Of course this isn't to say that Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Choice Voting favors one party over another. It favors the will of the majority to decide the winner of elections.

This election, I hope, will spark a conversation amongst BPers to find a system to accommodate the apparently very rich field of candidates who want to seek office without sacrificing the principle of majority rule. Fortunately that system is up and running in Minneapolis, will be soon in St. Paul., and is being considered around the state as well. Ranked Choice Voting works and should be considered to avoid winners with such low totals of votes relative to the number of voters.

I don't remember reading complaints from the Instant Run-off Voting activists about the "plurality voting system" in November 2010 when Mark Dayton was elected Minnesota Governor with a 0.42% plurality of the votes cast.

Jeffery Lunde won the Mayor's office fair and square with 2575 votes in 12 way contest piling up 1096 more votes, or 13.6% more votes than his nearest competitor.

Lunde's nearly 32% vote total came with in 91 votes of beating both the COMBINED votes of the next TWO finishers!

I hope the IRV activists can show some class and congratulate Minnesota's newest Mayor even if he is not a member of their political party.

Congratulations MAYOR Jeffery Lunde and to the City Council for holding a Saturday Special Election to increase voter turn-out!