Marin, Rasmussen to continue mayoral race

Published 11:34 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Incumbent Rasmussen narrowly edges out primary win

Vern Rasmussen Jr.

*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect three ballots that were not processed correctly.  

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. won a close primary race Tuesday night.

Rasmussen received 1,385 votes — 47.08 percent — besting George Marin by less than 120 votes. Marin received 1,269 votes — 43.13 percent.

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Rasmussen and Marin will face off in November’s general election after mayoral candidate John Syverson was eliminated after receiving 288 votes in the primary — 9.79 percent.

Rasmussen, a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System at Health Reach, is seeking his second four-year term in office and has been mayor since 2010. He said he has a positive vision for the community, separating him from Marin.

“I’m just excited that everyone showed up to vote,” he said after the primary. “I think it’s really important for our whole community to come out and speak their mind.”

Marin, pastor at Grace Christian Church, called the primary results “phenomenal” and thanked Albert Lea voters. He noted he won four out of the six wards, calling that “significant.”

George Marin

“Four out of six wards made it very clear who they want to lead the city,” he said.

Marin has won three city council elections and has served two separate tenures as city councilor — 2001 to 2008 and 2013 to 2016.

Rasmussen said he plans to take a hands-on approach to campaigning in the next three months.

“It’s important for me to get out and make sure people understand who I am and what I’ve accomplished,” Rasmussen said.

Marin said he plans to rebuild the local economy and will speak for those who believe they don’t have a voice in city government.

He chided Rasmussen for not taking a stronger public stance against Mayo Clinic Health System’s decision to transfer most inpatient services from Albert Lea to Austin, adding he plans to help bring a second provider to the community. 

Marin said he wants to fill 14 empty storefronts from Front Street to Seventh Street.

He also plans to help build and develop the city’s workforce, which he said includes attracting and retaining young people.

Syverson did not return multiple phone calls Tuesday night.



Ward results

Ward 1

Rasmussen: 463, 57.73 percent

Marin: 280, 34.91 percent

Severtson: 59, 7.36 percent


Ward 2

Rasmussen: 207, 50 percent

Marin: 181, 43.72 percent

Severtson: 26, 6.28 percent


Ward 3

Marin: 290, 48.17 percent

Rasmussen: 270, 44.85 percent

Severtson: 42, 6.98 percent


Ward 4

Marin: 237, 44.63 percent

Rasmussen: 233, 43.88 percent

Severtson: 61, 11.49 percent


Ward 5

Marin: 116, 42.49 percent

Rasmussen: 108, 39.56 percent

Severtson: 49, 17.95 percent


Ward 6

Marin: 165, 51.56 percent

Rasmussen: 104, 32.5 percent

Severtson: 51, 15.94 percent

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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