Dougherty, Runk win council seats
Oak Park Heights’ voters decided it was time for change on their city council, electing veteran Councilwoman Mary McComber the city’s new mayor over 12-year incumbent Mayor David Beaudet.
Voters gave incumbent Councilman Mike Runk another term and elected businessman Chuck Dougherty, a former member of the city’s Planning and Parks commissions, to the other at-large council seat.
Complete but unofficial results from the Oak Park Heights’ two precincts showed McComber receiving 1,229 votes or 56.96 percent to Beaudet’s 994 votes, or 44.45 percent.
Dougherty finished first among the four candidates seeking two at-large council seats with 1,135 votes. Runk was second with 1,020 votes and Mike Liljegren third with 874 votes. Larry Viers, who dropped out of the race but whose name remained on the ballot, received 258 votes.
“Right now, I’m stunned,” McComber said Tuesday night after learning of her victory.
McComber said she is glad the city’s voters showed confidence to elect her mayor. She has no specific plans now for how she will lead Oak Park Heights as mayor.
“I think we’re going to go in a different direction,” she said, adding she hopes the new council will work together more to benefit the city.
McComber also said she expects to work well with Daugherty on the new council, pointing out his past experience on city commissions.
“Chuck Dougherty has been on our planning commission and parks commission. I found him to be very thoughtful,” she said.
Although McComber is still “formulating” her plans as mayor, she does have one key goal she wants to see her and the new council strive for.
“It’s important for us to work as a team,” she said.
On Tuesday night, however, McComber had two tasks. One was taking congratulatory phone calls from supporters. The other was keeping track of her husband’s progress on fixing the couple’s leaking water heater in the basement of their home.