Vote totals changed slightly after Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, but results remained unchanged in Nisswa, where city council member John Ryan said his margin of victory over current Mayor Fred Heidmann did surprise him.

Ryan garnered 1,174 votes (85.38%) to Heidmann’s 183 votes (13.31%). There were 18 write-in votes (1.31%).

“I was very humbled to receive that many votes. It was a very humbling experience,” Ryan said. “I’m very happy that obviously I was successful in my bid. I want to see us hit the floor running in 2021; hopefully we can put 2020 and COVID behind us.”

Ryan is completing his first term as a council member this year after being elected in 2016. Had he lost the mayor’s race, he would have been off the council totally.

Responding via text message to his loss, Heidmann said: “Congratulations to the successful candidates and best wishes.”

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He declined to comment on the vast difference in vote totals. He has served two terms as mayor after first being elected in 2016, and two years on the council after winning a special election to fulfill a term in 2014.

Former council member Ross Krautkremer will return after being the top vote-getter (778 votes or 42.12%). Krautkremer was appointed to the council in June 2014, won election to a four-year term that same year and then didn’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I’m very grateful for the support that the people are showing for me and the confidence,” Krautkremer said. “I’m actually excited to get back on and get back to work.”

Saying he was overwhelmed by the number of votes he received, Krautkremer added that he’s going to work hard to live up to that.

Mark Utzinger will be the newest face of the council. He received 602 votes (35.59%) to claim the second open council seat over Bob Fier (436 votes or 23.61%).

“I was pleasantly surprised that I got elected,” he said. “I am a new face even though I’ve been visiting here for a long time. I've only lived here for three years. I hope to contribute because I love this area. This is very magical where we live, so I’d like to help continue with the good work that’s been done in the past.”

Utzinger said his extensive business background trained him to work together with people as a team. He is currently a member of the city’s public works committee.

Looking to his term as mayor, Ryan said: “I just hope that we can move the city forward and keep plugging away. If people have issues, come. Come to city hall. Talk to the city administrator. Talk to any of the council members, myself included. Talk to any of the department heads.

“You can go online and sign up to have information emailed to you when something is posted on the website,” he said as a way to keep informed.

There were 18 write-in votes for mayor and 31 write-in votes for city council.

Nisswa mayor

  • Fred Heidmann (incumbent) 183 (13.31%)
  • John Ryan 1,174 (85.38%)

Nisswa City Council (elect 2)

  • Ross Krautkremer 778 (42.12%)
  • Mark Utzinger 602 (32.59%)
  • Bob Fier 436 (23.61%)

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at