Bloomington 2019 Sample Ballot


LWV Holds Forum for Bloomington School Board Candidates

The Bloomington League of Women Voters sponsored a candidate forum for the Bloomington School Board election candidates on September 19th in the Bloomington City Hall City Council Chambers. Five of the six candidates for three open school board positions participated in the forum.


Pictured above, from left, they are Maureen Bartolotta, Nelly Korman, John Moravec, Mia Olson, and Heather Starks. Scott Christensen did not participate.

All of the five candidates who participated have education experience. The areas of differentiation between candidates seemed to be mostly on racial equity and school choice issues.

• Maureen Bartolotta wants to lead the School Board through its mounting fiscal concerns. 
• Nelly Korman was a teacher for 25 years and worked closely with minority students. 
• John Moravec stated that he spoke for the “voices of the unheard”. 
• Mia Olson was a substitute teacher, a crisis worker, and worked with runaway youth. 
• Heather Starks is running to promote early childhood education and to increase parent-teacher connections within each school. 

Why qualified to serve?

  • Maureen Bartolotta: her collaboration skills
  • Nelly Korman: her strong determined will and her administrative experience.
  • John Moravec: his extensive experience at analyzing hard data
  • Mia Olson: her previous experience
  • Heather Starks: her leadership roles in various education groups, her familiarity with state and local education policies, and her multi-disciplinary perspective.
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Bloomington City Council Candidates Exchange Positions

City_Council_Candidates.jpgThe six candidates vying for seats on the Bloomington City Council met in September in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The candidates, as pictured left to right above, are Jenna Carter and Brian “Clem” Clemens (At-Large), Dwayne Lowman and Al Noard (District 1), and Shawn Nelson and Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff (District 2)

The candidates were first asked for their two prime reasons for running:
• Al Noard: Keeping property taxes in check and reviewing ordinances and zoning to attract businesses to the city
• Dwayne Lowman: Focus on renewal and economic and environmental sustainability
• Sue Woodruff: Hold city budget in check and protect neighborhoods
• Shawn Nelson: Focus on basic services and encourage small businesses to locate in the city
• Clem Clemens: Target transportation (check loss of traffic lanes) and fiscal responsibility
• Jenna Carter: Bring a holistic view to government and push community engagement in setting priorities

How would the candidates encourage small business in Bloomington?
• Nelson: look at ordinances and regulations
• Woodruff: Treat businesses as customers, ask how we can help them.
• Carter: Through collaboration, citing housing ordinances
• Clemens: Come up with a 3-5 year plan so businesses can operate while upgrades are made
• Lowman: Manage services and educate workers
• Noard: Advocate for small businesses, make allowances in zoning ordinances

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Bloomington Mayoral Candidate Forum Highlights Candidate Differences

Ryan_Kulka__Tim_Busse.jpgThe Bloomington League of Women Voters sponsored a Candidate Forum for the Bloomington Mayoral election candidates on September 17th in the Bloomington City Hall City Council Chambers. Both candidates for Mayor participated.

Tim Busse (pictured on left) has been on the Bloomington City Council as the At-Large Councilman for eight years. His first job out of college was working for the League of Minnesota Cities, and he is now on their board.

Ryan Kulka (pictured on right), a long-time Bloomington resident, entrepreneur and political new-comer, won the primary vote in August. His main positions::
• emphasis on fiscal responsibility
• reduce business taxes, fees, and regulations that stifle growth
• support small businesses rather than smother them
• increase transparency in the Mayor/Council decision-making process

Ryan Kulka is recommended by SD49 Republicans due to his push for more transparency in city government, for improving the business climate in the city, and for addressing priority infrastructure needs over non-essential but “nice to have” projects

Kulka said that he is responding to a need for change in the city’s leadership. “A lot of people are angry with what is happening in the city.”

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Kulka, Noard, Woodruff Speak Out on MOA Water Park


We wrote about the proposed Water Park at the Mall of America back in June.

The Star Tribune reported in August that “The Triple Five Group, owners and operators of the Mall of America, “pledged a 49% stake in the megamall as collateral to win a construction loan for its massive American Dream entertainment and retail complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands”. We,provide more about the Star Tribune coverage in another article.

We believe that the reactions of candidates for Bloomington’s highest offices to the Water Park development are a worthy indicator of how they will handle major initiatives in the city, should they be elected. So we asked:

If elected, what would you do regarding the involvement of the city of Bloomington in the financing of the Mall of America Water Park?

Ryan Kulka (recommended candidate for Mayor). That the MOA was able to be leveraged without our knowledge was a huge oversight by the city when formulating the initial agreement with Triple Five. If elected, I will motion that all forward effort on the water park project come to a halt in light of this information, until the financial arrangement can be normalized. No financially savvy entity would enter into a financing deal of this nature, as it is currently structured.

Al Noard (recommended candidate for City Council in District 1): It would be nice to have a Waterpark at the Mall of America. I believe it would help to increase the Mall's attraction as a destination spot. My issue is with municipalities getting involved when it would be a direct competitor of a nearby, privately-run waterpark. Also, if private investors are not willing to put up the money, that could be a fairly good indication as to the profit margins.

Susan Woodruff (recommended candidate for City Council in District 2). It is a flat no from me. First of all, Triple 5 wants to use MOA as collateral to build their American Dream entertainment center in New Jersey, and then ask others to bear the financial burden of a one-quarter of a billion dollar water park. All in the face of a deteriorating retail market. If it should fail, where will that burden really fall? We already have a water park next to the mall. I would prioritize spending on our critical infrastructure: our schools, fire houses, and other public buildings.

CLICK HERE to read our excerpts of the opinions of Star Tribune columnists in August 2019 on the Water Park



Bloomington Candidates for Mayor, Council

Here are the Bloomington candidates who will appear on the November ballot (in alphabetical order by office).  

Bloomington Mayor

  • Tim Busse
    • website: 
    • Facebook: busseforbloomington
    • email: [email protected]
    • phone: 952 457-7506
  • Ryan Kulka
    • website: 
    • Facebook: @rk4mayor 
    • email: [email protected]
    • phone: 612 240-9995

Bloomington City Council At-Large

  • Jenna Carter
    • website:
    • Facebook: JennaCarter
    • email: [email protected]
    • phone: 612 701-0321
  • Brian “Clem” Clemens
    • website:
    • Facebook: clemforbloomington
    • email: [email protected]
    • phone: 612 616-3553

Bloomington City Council District 1

  • Dwayne A. Lowman
  • Al Noard

Bloomington City Council District 2

  • Shawn Nelson
    • website:
  • Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff
    • Facebook: Susan"Hofmeister" Woodruff for City Council Bloomington

Al Noard Recommended for Bloomington City Council

Al_Noard_for_Bloomington_Council.jpgVoters in Bloomington’s 1st District propelled Al Noard through the August 13 Primary and on to the November 5 General Election.

Noard is a life-long resident of Bloomington. He attended Bloomington public schools and graduated from John F Kennedy high school. He and his wife Dawn have been married for 23 years and have 2 children, who both attended Bloomington public schools.

He is the second-generation owner of a metal fabrication business that has been in Bloomington for almost 50 years. He took over and has successfully operated the business since 2000.

Al Noard has run his business through the ups and downs of the economy and feels that he has learned the importance of budgeting and allocating funds properly. “I recognize when processes needed to be streamlined and others eliminated. I understand the challenges that small businesses face and I believe that my experiences will be beneficial in making decisions for our city.”

Why is Al running for Bloomington City Council? “To represent the vast majority of Bloomington residents who would like to have more of a voice in how we are governed but who are too busy with work, kid’s activities and family responsibilities to do so. Those who, after a long week at work, don’t want to discover a new ordinance which may adversely affect their lives.”

What are a few of his top priorities?
• To preserve private property rights for all residential and commercial property owners.
• To look for ways to reduce restrictive regulations to help attract new businesses
• To help existing businesses grow and provide more living wage jobs.
• To be a voice of fiscal responsibility to maintain current property tax levels.

Bloomington Republicans recommend Al Noard for election to Bloomington’s City Council in District 1.


Bloomington Primary Results - Ryan Kulka Wins!

Voting_Day_and_sticker.jpgBloomington's Primary Election on Tuesday, August 13, narrowed the field of candidates for Mayor, Council Member At-Large and Council Member for District 1.   The top-two for each office will be on the ballot November 5.

As previously published, SD49 Republicans recommends Ryan Kulka for Mayor.


Ryan Kulka was the winner of the Primary for Mayor, with 2554 votes (38.46% ).  
Tim Busse  was a close second, with 2516 (37.89%)  and will also be on the November ballot.

Council Member at Large:

Jenna Carter 3407 (54.27%)  will face 
Brian "Clem" Clemens 2173 (34.61%) 

District 1 (8 precincts):

Dwayne A. Lowman 868 (42.49%) will face 
Al Noard 602 (29.47%) 

You may view all of the Bloomington Primary candidates/voting results (unofficial as of Aug 14) on the Secretary of State Website, Election Results page.


School Board Candidates Announced - Bloomington

August 13 was the last date for candidates to announce/file for School Board elections in our four SD49 Communities. 

Here are the Bloomingon School Board Candidate names and websites (if known; note that these aren't clickable links).  We expect to have additional website / contact details and also recommendations in the weeks ahead.

BLOOMINGTON (3 will be elected)

Maureen Bartolotta 

  • Phone:  (952) 852-5280
  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Facebook:, 

Scott Christensen

  • Phone:  (612) 402-0122

Nelly Korman

  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Facebook:
  • Website:   

John Moravec  

  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Facebook:  moravecforbloomington
  • Website:

Mia Olson

  • Phone:  (612) 991-8193
  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Facebook:  Mia for Bloomington Schools
  • Website:       

Heather Starks  

  • Phone:  (952) 884-7582
  • Email:  [email protected]
  • Website:



Primary Candidates Forum Videos, Statement Videos

Bloomington_City_Hall_for_Newsletter.jpgThe League of Women Voters and City of Bloomington have now posted videos for the 2019 Primary Election Candidates.

The July 10 Forum Videos

Mayoral Candidate Forum video    CLICK HERE 

The forum was summarized in our July 15 Newsletter article "Bloomington Primary Mayoral Candidates Forum Enlightens".  CLICK HERE to read that short article.

City Council Candidates Forum video CLICK HERE  

The At Large candidates forum and "no recommendation" decision were summarized in our July 15 Newsletter article "Bloomington At Large Primary A Race Among Progressives".  CLICK HERE to read that short article.

Individual statement videos

Also, you may CLICK HERE to see the individual statement videos from each candidate involved in the Bloomington Primary. These are 2 - 5 Minutes each, and the time-mark within the full video is noted for each candidate.


Tim Busse - :58
Sharon Christensen 6:00
Rainer Einsmann 7:57
Ryan Kulka 11:57 < Recommended by SD49 Republicans
Dan Niziolek 16:51

Council At Large:

Jenna Carter 21:25
Brian “Clem” Clemens 26:37
Judy Gelina 31:27
Larry James Hotchkiss 34:08

Council District 1:

Dwayne A. Lohmann 37:23
Jonathon McClellan 42:36
Al Noard 47:11