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Borkenhagen front runner for at-large seat on Brainerd City Council along with incumbent Koep

■ Borkenhagen front runner for at-large seat on Brainerd City Council along with incumbent Koep

Chip Borkenhagen took an early lead and maintained it through midnight Tuesday, with six of the nine precincts reported for an at-large seat with the Brainerd City Council.

At that time, Borkenhagen drew 26.4 percent of the votes, 1,806 votes, with current Brainerd City Council President Mary Koep also retaining for an at-large seat, coming in behind Borkenhagen with 1,354 votes.

Borkenhagen, 65, was named the 2008 Brainerd Citizen of the Year and is currently working on a book of the history of the lake country.

Koep filed for re-election to a council at-large seat and has served in one of the three at-large seats since 2003. She stepped away from council in 2006 but returned to an at-large seat in 2008 and previously served 16 years on the Crow Wing County Board from 1980-1996 and before that 10 years from 1970-1980 on the city council.

Other at-large candidates included Denny Schmidt, 830 votes, Laura Bisted, 814 votes, incumbent Bob Olson, 1,035 votes, Michael Bollinger, 603 votes, and David Colvin, 349 votes, There were also 46 write-in votes.


Dave Pritschet lead the pack in Ward 1, keeping a hold of 37.5 percent, or 344 votes as of midnight on Tuesday with one of two precincts reported. Sue Hilgart trailed Pritschet by just one vote at that time.

Pritschet, 46, is currently a teacher at Forestview Middle School, and earned recognition as the 2012 Brainerd Teacher of the Year as well as was the 2006 recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Recognition Award. Hilgart, 52, has been a team leader with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program and site manager of the Brainerd Workforce Center since 2005.

Also receiving votes were candidates Daniel Egan, 60 votes, Rob Garberich, 41 votes, Amanda Monnier 63 votes and Joseph Morgan 66 votes


As of midnight Tuesday, Gary Scheeler narrowly held the lead in the Ward 3 race with 36.8 percent, or 203 votes. Close behind him was Jeff Czeczok with 201 votes.

Others running for a Ward 3 seat and garnering votes were John Magnuson, 97 votes and Howard Brewer, 26 votes. Dondi Allen was also originally in the running for the open seat and had her name included on the ballot but withdrew from consideration Oct. 18. Allen received 25 votes.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).