DULUTH — The canvassing board in Two Harbors has verified votes from last week's primary election, and the city is set to move forward with finding a new mayor to fill out the rest of Chris Swanson's term.
Swanson was officially out of office this past Friday after the results were approved.
Residents voted to recall Swanson midway through his second term after months of public scrutiny for the way his business dealings have overlapped with his elected position. He also recently admitted that he had been on probation as a teenager after years of rumors that he sexually abused a young girl in his hometown of Silver Bay. More than 86% of voters said yes to the recall.
The Two Harbors City Council is expected to declare a vacancy in the mayor's office at its regular meeting on Aug. 22. Until then, Council President Ben Redden will serve as acting mayor until the office is filled.
Redden said he is not allowed to comment unless he has the consent of his fellow councilors.
"I would like to remain by the books," he said in an e-mail.
Swanson has not returned calls and e-mails for comment, and he has issued no public statements since the recall vote.
The grassroots group Resign or Recall collected signatures from hundreds of residents during the past several months — enough to get Swanson's recall listed on the primary election ballot. The City Council had asked the embattled mayor to step down, but he refused, stating that he loved Two Harbors.
"If everything goes as planned, a filing period for candidates will occur for the balance of the mayoral term to be filled by special election at the same time as the general election in November," interim City Administrator Joel Dhein said in an e-mail.