Richfield Election Guide
The candidates, incumbents and issues that will be affecting Richfield and Hennepin County.
***Last update: 9 p.m. a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012***
As Election Day nears, Richfield Patch is committed to providing great coverages of local, state and national candidates, the races, issues on the ballot and voting procedures.
The following is a collection of articles and links to aid voters as they prepare to head to the polls Tuesday. Click on the blue links to other Patch resources:
Richfield's ward and precinct lines were redrawn earlier this year after the Minnesota State Legislature passed its own redisticting plan. Some voters will find their precinct has changed.
See Richfield Patch's Sample Ballots, Polling Location for Richfield Voters for more information on where to vote.
Maps of the old and new precinct boundaries, as well as the new ward map, have been attached to this articles as PDFs.
See Richfield Patch's Richfield Redraws Ward, Precinct Lines for more information.
Those who want to vote, but can't on Election Day can vote absentee until the end of business Monday, Nov. 5.
See Richfield Patch's Absentee Voting For November Election for more information.
Of couse, there are also some rules of the road when at the polls.
From judges to local city council races, Richfield Patch has the list of candidates that will be seen on the Tuesday ballot.
See Richfield Patch's Meet Your Local Candidates for the 2012 Election for all the names.
Richfield City Council Race
Richfield's Ward 1 and Ward 3 are uncontested this year, with incumbents running for re-election. However, Ward 2 is up for grabs now that Councilman Fred Wroge will be retiring after his term expires. Edwina Garcia and David Buzicky, beat out Kent Fairbairn at the August primaries, and will both be on the ballot on Election Day.
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the 2012 Richfield City Council Races for more information.
Richfield Public Schools Referendum
The first question will ask voters if they would like to renew the existing levy. If the renewal passes, there will be no additional property tax increase, as there are no additional funds requested.
The second question, however, will ask voters if they would support a roughly $60 increase in per pupil spending if the renewal passes. This would result in a property tax increase of $16 per year for the average homeowner. The $16 figure was calculated by using the average home value in Richfield, which is $169,022.
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the Richfield Referendum Proposals for more information.
Hennepin County Commissioner - 5th District
Incumbent Randy Johnson was elected in 1978 and re-elected nine successive times, running without opposition in four elections. This year, Jim Koepke, who has never held an elected office, is hoping to unseat Johnson.
According to Johnson's biography on the Hennepin County website, he has been been invited to testify before Congress more often and on more issues than any elected county official in history. He is specifically referred to as an expert on environmental issues.
While Johnson has the endorsement of many Republicans and major labor unions, Koepke considers himself a fiscal conservative and is running on the position that the county has strayed from the core values of limited, local government.
Three Rivers Park District Commissioner
There are two Three Rivers Park District districts that cover Richfield. Two are vying for the District 4, while the District 5 incumbent is running unopposed.
District 4 Candidates:
(All precincts except 6 and 9)
District 5 Candidates:
(Precincts 6 and 9)
Minnesota State Legislature Races
All Minnesota Senate and House seats are up for grabs this year.
In addition, after the Minnesota State Legislature's redistricting plan was approved earlier in the year, Richfield will most definitely be seeing new names on voting ballots. Incumbent candidate Rep. Linda Slocum should be familiar to most voters, while Rep. Jean Wagenius and Sen. Patricia Torres-Ray will be new to Richfield.
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the Minnesota House, Senate Races for Richfield for more information on these races.
State, Local Judicial Races
The August primary helped narrow the field for both statewide and district judicial office.
In the Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice race, incumbent Lorie Skjerven Gildea along with Dan Griffith will appear on the ballot Tuesday.
In the Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Seat 4 race, incumbent David Stras as well as Tim Tingelstad will battle it out Tuesday.
For those up for various district seats, see Richfield Patch's Meet Your Local Candidates for the 2012 Election.
U.S. Congress Race
After easily defeating DFL challenger Gary Boisclair in the August Primaries, incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison (D) has been going head-to-head with his Republican challenger Chris Fields. And it's gotten a little messy in recent weeks.
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the Minnesota 5th Congressional District Race for more information.
Voters will be tasked with voting on two constitutional amendments this year.
The question on the ballot will read:
Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment for more information on this ballot question.
Voter ID Amendment
The question on the ballot will read:
Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?
See Richfield Patch's A Guide to the Minnesota Voter ID Amendment for more information on this ballot question.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 15, 2012. It has since been updated with new election-related information. We at Patch will continue to update it as more information becomes available.