Photo by Kent Landerholm, 2012

The League of Women Voters of Dakota County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences policy through education and advocacy. We meet monthly and also host candidate forums, issue forums, and other events of interest to the community. Please attend one of our meetings or contact us for more information!


Updated: 3 days ago

Update: The bond referendum was approved by a margin of 2,581 voting yes to 2,255 voting no.

Background Information

During its January 26 meeting the ISD 194 School Board voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling a special election for voters to consider a $44 million bond referendum. The special election will be held on May 11, 2021. If approved by voters, the bond funds will be used to purchase land and build a new elementary school to be completed by the fall of 2024. Constructing a new elementary school is part of the district's broader long-range planning, which projects district enrollment to increase by 2,500 students by 2030.

ISD 194 has created a webpage with more information about the referendum. The projected tax impact would be a $49 increase in annual property taxes for a home valued at $400,000. ISD 194 hosted an informational meeting regarding the referendum on April 13 and video of that meeting is available here.

ISD 194 plans to hold another special election on November 2, 2021 to fill the vacancy on the School Board resulting from Zach Duckworth's election to the Minnesota Senate. On April 13 the Board unanimously voted to establish the dates of the filing period for candidates which will be July 27 through August 10, 2021. The Board has not appointed anyone to temporarily fill the vacancy despite state law calling for any vacancy on the Board to be filled by appointment.

Updated: 3 days ago

Update: Unofficial election results show that Christopher Kostik has been elected as the first mayor of the City of Credit River, Brent Lawrence and Leroy Schommer have been elected to city council terms continuing through 2024, and Alan Novak and Andrew Stevens have been elected to city council terms continuing through 2022.

Background Information

Credit River Township occupies the eastern edge of Scott County to the south of Savage, west of Lakeville, and southeast of Prior Lake. A special election will be held on Tuesday, May 11, as part of the township's process of being incorporated as the City of Credit River. Offices that will be on the ballot include mayor and four city council seats and a copy of the sample ballot is available here. The mayor will be elected to a term continuing through 2022, while council members will be elected to staggered terms continuing through 2022 and 2024.

A total of 13 candidates filed for the open positions, including three candidates for mayor, five candidates for the two city council terms continuing through 2024, and five candidates for the two city council terms continuing through 2022. A candidate forum was held on April 26:

Below are links to the affidavit of candidacy filed by each candidate and any website, if known.


City Council Term Through 2024 (two seats)

City Council Term Through 2022 (two seats)

Additional information is available via an April 28 KMSP story, an April 15 Sun Thisweek story, an April 14 Southwest News Media article, an April 2 Star Tribune article, a March 24 Southwest News Media article, and Credit River Township's website.

Update: On May 11 the Dakota County Board of Commissioners appointed Kathy Keena as Dakota County Attorney. The position will be on the ballot in 2022. Media coverage of the appointment is available from Sun ThisWeek, the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, and the Northfield News.

Background Information

On March 23 the Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to select three finalists to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

The three finalists included:

  • Kathy Keena, the acting Dakota County Attorney who has worked for the Dakota County Attorney's Office since April 2000;

  • Elizabeth Lamin, an assistant Ramsey County attorney who has worked for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office since July 2008; and

  • Thomas Pugh, a Minnesota district court senior judge who served as a Dakota County District Court judge from December 2011 through August 2019.

More information about the finalists is available here. Mr. Pugh withdrew before being interviewed by the Board.

On April 21 the ACLU of Minnesota, the NAACP Minneapolis, Jewish Community Action, Gender Justice, and the Coalition of Asian American Leaders hosted a forum to hear from the finalists to fill the vacancy. The video is available here (Facebook). Kathy Keena was unable to attend but provided written responses to a set of pre-selected questions, which are available here.

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