Elk River council candidates reflect on outcome
by Joni Astrup
Jennifer Wagner and Paul Motin were the top finishers in the Elk River City Council Ward 4 primary election on Tuesday, and now will face off in the Nov. 4 general election.
Wagner came in first with 136 votes, followed by Motin with 89 and Dennis Chuba with 82.
Motin is the incumbent, having served on the Elk River City Council since 1999. He is an attorney and certified public accountant.
Wagner is the owner and operator of Open Reel Media and Pik ur Flik movie kiosks.
Chuba is the founder of The Chuba Company and a member of the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Energy City Commission.
Asked why she thought the vote turned out the way it did, Wagner said: “People want a new voice, a fresh voice, and someone to bring a new perspective to the council.”
She said it was a humbling experience to have people turn out to vote for her.
With the November election less than three months away, Wagner said she will continue to talk with people in Ward 4, finding out what’s important to them and where they want to see Elk River go in the future.
Motin said he thought he and Wagner would probably emerge on top in the primary, but given the low voter turnout it’s hard to draw too many conclusions.
He felt both he and Wagner made strong efforts to establish name recogition leading up to the primary.
With the next phase of the campaign underway, he said he will be going out and meeting the public face-to-face, knocking on doors and talking to people wherever he can.
Chuba said with the light turnout in the primary, it’s hard to know what to read into the results.
“It’s kind of interesting that I was only seven votes shy of Paul. Would that tell you something? I don’t really know,” he said.
He said entered the race to give the people of Ward 4 a choice.
“I have nothing against Paul. Sixteen years is a long time. I applaud his service,” he said.
Chuba said at this point he is neutral on who to support in the race until he gets more information.