Challenger Mary Koep held off incumbent Frank Asplund to win the Brainerd City Council at-large seat.
Koep totaled 1,715 votes, with Asplund totaling 1,384 votes in Tuesday's election.
"It's a very big challenge," a jubilant Koep said today. "I will try to fulfill expectations."
Koep previously served 10 years on the Brainerd City Council and 16 years on the Crow Wing County Board. She said she will work diligently on the issues she campaigned on and she will continue to work with her fellow at-large candidates.
"We were friends yesterday and we'll be friends tomorrow," said Koep.
Asplund has served on the Brainerd City Council since 1989.
"I'm disappointed to say the least," said Asplund. "You don't know what to expect. The voter turnout was more in support for Mary (Koep) than for me."
Asplund expressed his thanks to everybody who supported him with contributions and with help on his campaign. "It was very much appreciated," said Asplund.
Also running for the at-large seat were current Ward 3 Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler, who had 741 votes, and Mark Turner, who totaled 571.
Scheeler said he was surprised by the turnout but felt he did very well as a sitting city council member.
"For already having a (city council) seat for two more years I still have a tremendous amount of support," said Scheeler, not ruling out another run for an at-large city seat in 2004.
Turner said he and Koep share a lot of the same views concerning the city and he's glad she was elected. As for a future run at the Brainerd City Council, Turner said that would depend on the circumstances.
"If I'm not liking what I'm seeing, I'm willing to run again," Turner said today. "That's why I ran in the first place."
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