Archived Story

Severtson says he will request recount in A.L. mayoral race

Published 11:22pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It is likely a recount will be called in the race for Albert Lea mayor after the second- and third-place candidates were separated by only four votes.

The top two out of the three candidates in the race were projected to move on to the November general election.

According to results Tuesday evening, incumbent Mayor Vern Rasmussen, 48, and former Freeborn County Commissioner Keith Porter Sr., 75, received the most votes, with 850 and 305 votes respectively.

Former City Councilor John Severtson, 63, received 301 votes and said Tuesday night he planned to request a recount Wednesday morning.

Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Dennis Distad said though there are no automatic recounts for county, school district or municipal elections, the losing candidate may request a recount if the difference is 10 votes or less between that candidate and the winning candidate. The recount will be at the city’s expense.

Severtson said if the recount does not come out in his favor he will continue with his efforts already under way this year as chairman of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign. He is also encouraging the city to develop an RV park.

He previously served on the Albert Lea City Council from 1985 to 1989 and from 2005 to 2009 and is retired from Enderes Tool Co.

Porter said he anticipated Rasmussen would receive the most votes and knew that the race between him and Severtson would be close.

Porter served on the Albert Lea Township Board from 2008 to 2011 and as Freeborn County District 3 commissioner from 1992 to 2000. He is the former co-owner of Porter Sanitation Co.

He and Severtson shook hands after hearing the results.

Rasmussen, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System at Health Reach, said he was pleased with the results of the Tuesday election.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to serve the city of Albert Lea and hopefully continue to move it forward,” he said.

He noted while it has been a relatively low-key race thus far, he hopes to show people in the next few months what he hopes to bring to the community.