Swanson wins mayoral race: Incumbent defeated in Ward 4, Ward 2 decide by close race

By Adelle Whitefoot

Chris Swanson defeated incumbent Randy Bolen by a 63 to 37 percent margin in the 2016 Two Harbors mayoral race Tuesday.

Swanson won with 1,213 votes to Bolen’s 701 votes. Swanson’s election party at his home with close friends and family erupted in celebration when the News-Chronicle broke the news of the results.

“It feels wonderful and I’m just really excited to get this vision for the community moving forward,” Swanson said Tuesday night.

The number one priority for Swanson as the new mayor of Two Harbors is getting the roads and sidewalks fixed, he said.

“I absolutely want to see our roads, our sidewalks, our alleys, streets and infrastructure as our number one priority,” Swanson said. “We have to get moving on these big projects.”

Swanson said he also wants to see the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to focus more on the infrastructure and less on large capital purchases.

“One of the things that I’m excited about is that at this time in our country, financing is at an all time low, and I want to work with financing systems so we as a community and as citizens get the lowest cost possible for our roads,” he said. “That will allow us to get many more projects done than identified in the CIP.”

Swanson said he is thankful for the community of Two Harbors for supporting him.

“So many people have reached out to me during the campaign and I’ve honestly met so many new people that I now consider friends,” he said. “I am so excited to get everybody working together and row the boat, as they say, in the same direction.”

Swanson is the owner of PureDriven, a digital marketing agency located in Two Harbors, and served on the Two Harbors City Council from 2002 to 2012, stepping down during his third term to focus on his business.Bolen has served as mayor since 2008, and was a councilor before that. The News-Chronicle reached out to Bolen for a comment, but had not receive a response back by deadline Wednesday.

City Council Seats

Incumbents Robin Glaser and Cathy Erickson were re-elected to their positions on the council, as they ran unopposed. Ward 4 incumbent Mike Borud was defeated by Craig Jussila by a vote of 388 to 161. Jussila said he is excited for this opportunity and plans to focus on street and sidewalk improvements.

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me,” Jussila said. ” It was exciting talking to people and I would really like to thank them.”

In the Ward 2 special election, Frank McQuade won by just four votes, defeating Mary Henjum Rosati and Jacob Nelson in a close race. McQuade received 158 votes, Rosati received 154 votes and Jacob Nelson received 62 votes. McQuade will fill the remaining two years left open by the death of Roger Simonson.

“I’m really happy that Ward 2 gave me the chance to represent them and hopefully I can do a good job for them,” McQuade said.

As with the rest of the candidates, McQuade’s number one priority is the streets and sidewalks, but he also would like to work on having more things for the kids in Two Harbors to do.

“To those who voted for me, thank you very much and I appreciate all your support,” he said.