Incumbents place second in city council primaries

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Challengers celebrated Tuesday in Albert Lea City Council races, with a newcomer in each ward finishing ahead of veteran city council members.

In the Fourth Ward, Jeff Fjelstad finished ahead of Ron Sorenson, and in the Second Ward, Randy Erdman handily beat David McPherson. The victorious challengers and the two incumbents now advance to the general election to determine the winner in November.

Candidates Mike Kelly in the Second Ward and Roger Bok in the Fourth Ward were eliminated.

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In the Fourth Ward, Fjelstad had 393 votes, Sorenson had 377, and Bok had 107.

&uot;I’m very pleased I won. I’m feeling good,&uot; Fjelstad said. &uot;There has been no progression in this town for a long time. It just shows that the people of Albert Lea want a change. I think the people showed that in both wards and in the mayor’s race.&uot;

Ron Sorenson said about the success of the newcomers in both wards, &uot;I think people want to go in another direction.&uot; He added about Fjelstad, &uot;We have different philosophies.&uot;

&uot;I just plan on getting out and doing some more campaigning in the ward over these next months,&uot; said Sorenson, a 16-year veteran of the city council.

In the Second Ward, Erdman had 315 votes, McPherson had 239 and Kelly had 11.

Erdman credited aggressive door-knocking for his success.

&uot;These shoes were new when I started,&uot; Erdman said, lifting up his foot to show the worn-down bottom of one black loafer.

McPherson could not be reached for comment.

The Second Ward includes roughly the area directly south of Fountain Lake, north of Main Street, east of Hwy. 13 and west of Broadway Avenue.

The Fourth Ward covers roughly the area east of Bridge Avenue north of Hawthorne Street, and both east and west of Bridge south of Hawthorne to the edge of downtown.