MANHATTAN BEACH, Minn. - The nine of diamonds may not generally be considered a strong contender in a high card draw, but for incumbent Manhattan Beach mayor Paul Allen, it was enough to secure re-election.
Allen beat challenger Kevin Larson in a game of chance for the mayoral title at a special tie-breaker council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Manhattan Beach City Hall due to last week’s election results revealing a perfect 23-23 vote split between candidates.
City clerk Amy Wannebo announced Manhattan Beach, about 30 miles north of Brainerd, had 49 registered voters at 7 a.m. on Election Day, with one additional registration during the day. As a mail-in precinct, 48 ballots were delivered with a single rejection, for a total of 47 ballots counted. One voter did not select a mayoral candidate.
City law mandates that the position of mayor now be determined by lot, in a manner agreed upon by the council. This could be any game of chance in which both parties are equally likely to succeed.
After deciding between a coin flip and high card draw, Wannebo shuffled the deck and presented a spread of cards to both candidates.
Before selecting their cards, Larson shook Allen’s hand and wished him luck.
“If nothing else, at least we mobilized the people, right?” Larson asked. Voter turnout was extremely high in Manhattan Beach, a town of just over 60 people.
After both candidates drew from the deck, Allen placed the nine of diamonds on the desk in front of him. Larson drew the three of hearts.
“Neither of us drew too well, but you win,” said Larson.