A sales tax increase that divided the Washington County Board last spring is sure to get a full airing again this fall -- after primary-election voting Tuesday.
Lisa Weik, a senior compliance specialist for Medtronic who wants to repeal the tax, and Cheryl Hurst, a former Woodbury City Council member who backs it, advanced to the Nov. 4 finals for the District 5 seat representing Woodbury.
Weik, who had Republican Party endorsement, and Hurst are vying to replace Commissioner Dick Stafford, who had been on the winning side of the 3-to-2 vote to enact the quarter-cent tax dedicated to metro transit projects.
That same yes vote cost Commissioner Dennis Hegberg in his bid to win Republican Party endorsement for his District 1 reelection campaign. Instead, the party nod went to Hegberg's challenger, Eric Langness, a Forest Lake school board member. They did not have a primary contest Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Washington County, voters in Stillwater finalized the field for the Ward 2 City Council race: Micky Cook, an assistant Hennepin County attorney, will face John Rheinberger, an attorney and former City Council member.
The three suburban seats are up for reelection.
Tuesday night, Joe Mansky, county elections manager, estimated voter turnout at 11 percent, which he said was "probably a little higher than four years ago."
In District 1, which includes Arden Hills and Shoreview, incumbent Tony Bennett, 68, led a field of three to move on to the general election. Jim Schottmuller, 37, a North Oaks resident with more than a decade of property management experience, will challenge him.
In District 7, which includes Maplewood and White Bear Lake, incumbent Victoria Reinhardt, 55, finished at the top in a group of three. She will face Dennis Dunnigan, 48, of White Bear Lake, who owns a real estate appraisal business.
In District 2, which includes New Brighton and Roseville, incumbent Jan Parker, 57, had the most votes in a group of four. Her opponent will be Richard Moses, 58, a Thomson Reuters data analyst from New Brighton.
Ramsey County District Court
The retirement of Judge John Finley has created a rare open seat on the bench. A field of eight was whittled to two on Tuesday, with Howard Orenstein and Gail Chang Bohr advancing.
Orenstein, 52, of St. Paul, is an assistant Hennepin County attorney and former five-term state representative. Bohr, 64, of St. Paul, is executive director of the Children's Law Center and formerly of the Faegre & Benson law firm.
County Commissioner Joe Harris, whose district includes Hastings and Farmington, easily advanced to the general election.
Voters also trimmed the fields in two Hastings City Council races -- both of which will see newcomers elected in November.
Joe Balsanek, a retired educator, faces Lance Twedt, a former planning commission chairman, in Ward 2. Tony Nelson, a county taxation analyst, and Ceil Strauss, a hydrologist and former planning commission chairwoman, advanced in Ward 3.