Former Pequot Lakes City Council member Tyler Gardner unseated first-term Mayor James Tayloe after Pequot Lakes election results were tallied after the Tuesday, Nov. 3, general election.
Incumbent council member Mimi Swanson lost her bid for a second term, as incumbent Scott Pederson and newcomer Pete Clement won the two council seats.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to serve the people of Pequot,” said Gardner, a council member from 2013-14 who resigned after moving out of the city for awhile.
He has been working here for the past three years and living back in Pequot Lakes for a year and half.
“I was hopeful, but I thought it was going to be a very close one. So I was surprised. It was a good surprise,” Gardner said, noting he plans to get acclimated with what’s going on in the city, especially as a new city administrator comes on board.
Tayloe was first elected two years ago.
He shared comments he posted on Facebook: “Pequot Lakes has spoken. It was a great two years, a great learning experience. I want to congratulate Mayor-elect Tyler Gardner. Also council member Scott Pederson and Pete Clement. And Pequot Lakes will still be in good hands.
“Will I do it again in two years? I have no idea,” Tayloe said with a laugh.
Gardner received 711 votes (56.38%) to Tayloe's 539 votes (42.74%).
Swanson, first elected in 2016, came in third with just two more votes than fourth-place finisher Kent Johnson.
“Thank you to all of the citizens of Pequot Lakes, including those of you I haven’t met and those friends of mine who placed their faith in me,” Swanson said via text message. “I appreciate all who voted for me. Although my quest for a second city council term fell short, I am grateful for lessons learned, new territory explored and new acquaintances made.”
Pederson tallied the most votes for a city council seat with 540 votes (25.96%). Clement won with 518 votes (24.90%).
Swanson received 375 votes (18.03%) and Johnson garnered 373 votes (17.93%). Also seeking election to the council was Jason Baca, who received 266 votes (12.79%) and who also ran unsuccessfully in 2016.
Pederson was first elected in 2012 to a four-year council term after being appointed in August 2012 to fulfill the term of a council member who resigned. Clement was appointed to serve from January-March this year when council member Jerry Akerson - who died last month - couldn’t serve for health reasons.
“I appreciate everybody that voted for me and I’m looking forward to serving. I’ll do my best,” Clement said, noting his family has lived in the community for 20-plus years, is fairly active and has a business downtown. “We know a lot of folks.”
Pederson took his re-election as a sign people support and value his performance on the council over the past eight years.
“It’s something I absolutely like doing,” he said of being a council member.
Pederson it will be fun with three new council members and a new city administrator. A reason he ran for re-election was to bring experience and help with the transition to a new administrator.
The council was to discuss how to fill Akerson's council seat at its Tuesday, Nov. 10, meeting, as Akerson had two years remaining in his term.
There were 11 write-in votes for mayor and 8 write-in votes for city council.
Pequot Lakes mayor
James Tayloe (incumbent) 539 (42.71%)
Tyler Gardner 712 (56.42%)
Pequot Lakes City Council (elect 2)
Scott Pederson (incumbent) 541 (25.98%)
Pete Clement 519 (24.93%)
Mimi Swanson (incumbent) 375 (18.01%)
Kent Johnson 373 (17.92%)
Jason Baca 266 (12.78%)
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.