Lino Lakes City Council candidate loses by 2 votes, calls for recount

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A candidate vying for a seat on the Lino Lakes City Council will request a recount after being defeated by just two votes.

Initial election results showed Bill Kusterman leading with 785 votes while Melissa Maher received 783 votes, the Quad Community Press reports. However, write-in ballots are still being tabulated.

The vote count will be certified before the next council meeting on Nov. 12. The Community Press says a candidate has a week after the vote is certified to request a recount.

The city council seat was one of two up for grabs. The Star Tribune reports incumbent Rob Rafferty was reelected with 866 votes.

One of the most debated issues during the campaign was Lino Lakes' restrictive charter that requires a citywide vote to approve public improvement projects, which Rafferty and Kusterman argue is overly restrictive. The Star Tribune said voters have only approved one road rebuild in the past three decades.

The Community Press said an attempt in 2012 to loosen up the charter was unsuccessful, falling just shy of the 51 percent of the vote needed to pass.

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