The Maplewood race that could and did

The Maplewood race that could and did

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Polar Schmahl

Chicago, IL

#1 Nov 8, 2013
A small hard-working group of volunteers waited tensely for results to come in. Maplewood has a strong independent contrary streak, there is no certainty. Sidewalks are rare and sometimes the need for curbs are still questioned. Yet there are great parks and trails. Only a small number of people get involved in local city politics, so getting out the vote is really critical. Recent elections have been volatile.

A previous mayor, Diana Longrie was running again. Diana Longrie’s term as mayor was marked by controversy and chaos. City government was devastated by firings, quittings and retirements. The financial books were not kept up. The city almost lost its insurance. Fortunately, Will Rossbach was elected to replace Diana Longrie. With hard work, Major Rossbach turned things around. But then he announced that he was not running again.


Diana Longrie has small dedicated following. She could win again and do a repeat performance of chaos and controversy. Finding a mayoral candidate with good recognition was key to stopping Diana Longrie. Fortunately, Nora Slawik, who was elected 7 times in the state legislature, agreed to run.

Nora helped recruit Marylee Abrams, an attorney, to also run. Kathy Juenemann was persuaded to run for re-election one more time. With weak mayor system, having 3 of the 5 votes on the city council is important to running local government. The mayor is one of the votes. Smart campaigning in low turnout races requires working in teams. Nora also had support from key players from the successful Bostrom-for-Sheriff campaign. The campaign team was ready.

Diana Longrie was also going for 3 of the 5 votes on the city council. She aligned with incumbent Rebecca Cave and newcomer Margaret Ann Behrens.

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