Incumbents hold onto seats in Mendota Heights

Incumbent knocked off IGH council


There won’t be many changes to the city councils in Inver Grove Heights and Mendota Heights after the ballots were counted Nov. 6.

Incumbent Mendota Heights Mayor Neil Garlock narrowly defeated opponent Jill Smith with roughly 51 percent of the vote. Only 108 votes separated the two.

Council members Ultan Duggan and Liz Petschel will be returning to the council for their fifth and third terms, respectively. Duggan earned 22 percent of the vote to be re-elected and Petschel’s re-election was secured with 26 percent.

Inver Grove Heights Mayor George Tourville held onto his seat against opponent Jonathan Weber by earning 53 percent of the vote, edging out Weber’s 47 percent. This will be Tourville’s ninth term as mayor.


Inver Grove Heights

It was a close race for two seats on the Inver Grove Heights City Council.

Incumbent council member Rosemary Piekarski-Krech, who has been on the council since 2000, will serve another term after winning 27 percent of the vote.

Brenda Dietrich beat incumbent council member Paul Hark with 26.67 percent of the vote to his 25.75 percent. Todd Kruse earned roughly 19 percent. 

Dietrich said she wanted to thank the Southeast Metro PAC for its endorsement, as well as Town Square Television for holding its candidate forum.

“I am just really excited to get to work. I was honored and humbled by the all the votes that came my way,” she said, adding that her No. 1 priority is communication. Her other priorities include fostering relationships between businesses, the city and residents, and creating transparency so all involved know what is coming up.

“They can give their input kind of before the 13th hour,” Dietrich said.

She encouraged residents to stay in contact with her, as she seeks to be their voice on the council.

Hark, who is finishing out his first on the council, congratulated Dietrich in a Nov. 7 interview, stating she beat him fair and square. 

“I think ... there was such an anti-incumbent mood, and even though I was only in office for four years, I think I got caught up in that,” said Hark.

“I had a lot of help from a lot of people, and I just want to thank them for all their help.”

One of the things Hark highlighted from his time on the council was his support for a city customer service policy. 

In the months left on his term, Hark said he wants to make sure departments and department heads are adhering to the policy, as that will make a difference in how tax payers perceive the service they are receiving at City Hall.

Asked if he was going to run again — Hark had campaigned saying a second term would be his last — he said, “No, I’m done with city council.”


–Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or

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