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Brainerd Ward 4: Johnson defeats Parks for council seat

The Brainerd City Council will have new representation from Ward 4 as challenger Gabe Johnson defeated incumbent Dale Parks in Tuesday's election. Johnson pulled in 55 percent of the support with 416 votes. Parks had 329 votes. "It feels great. A...

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Gabe Johnson

The Brainerd City Council will have new representation from Ward 4 as challenger Gabe Johnson defeated incumbent Dale Parks in Tuesday's election.

Johnson pulled in 55 percent of the support with 416 votes. Parks had 329 votes.

"It feels great. A lot of people put in a lot of time and energy into this," Johnson said. "I feel really appreciative right now. It was a whole group effort."

Parks, who is currently council president, has served in the Ward 4 seat for four years.

He attributed the loss partly to a statewide push to get rid of incumbents.

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"That might not be the whole story but is a good portion of that," he said.

He added, "Gabe will do OK. ... A lot of his views are similar to mine. I would have really liked to continue on, though."

Johnson, owner of a marketing consulting business, was one of the 11 people who applied to fill the at-large seat of the late Bonnie Cumberland after she unexpectedly died in March.

He said he's looking forward to making Brainerd a healthy climate for businesses to grow. He also wants to focus on addressing the slew of abandoned houses in his district.

Johnson added, "I'm hoping to make an impact and do something positive for the city of Brainerd."

Dale Parks
Dale Parks

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