Baker ousts Wohnoutka by 2-to-1 margin
SPICER -- Mayoral challenger Denny Baker upset incumbent Perry Wohnoutka in a landslide victory for Tuesday the Spicer mayor's seat.
Baker won with 432 votes to Wohnoutka's 222 votes, with 86 percent of Spicer voters turning out to the polls, according to unofficial results from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Speaking late Tuesday, Baker said that he's ready to "rebuild the trust in the city government and move ahead.
"We're ready to go to work and work with the people of Spicer," he said.
Last month, Baker said that he was running to "bring integrity back" to the city government and make Spicer City Hall a more comfortable place for citizens. He also said the community was tired of the lack of integrity and progress within City Hall.
Over the last two years, the Spicer city government experienced some turbulent times while Wohnoutka manned the mayor's seat in the council chambers. Most recently, the city hired a mediator to resolve numerous concerns within City Hall.
Spicer also faces threatened litigation from its city administrator. The City Council has scheduled a closed meeting for this Thursday to discuss the legal situation.
Baker said he is confident in the city's progress with the new faces coming to the Spicer City Council. Jerry Reierson and Robin deCathelineau were elected Tuesday to the council's two seats vacated by Ron Schneider and Terry Holmquist.
"I think we have some good people coming aboard the council with us," Baker said. "And we're looking forward to a new era for Spicer."
Baker will bring a long resume of public service to Spicer's mayor chair starting in 2009. He is a former chairman of the Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission and a former chairman and co-founder of the city's Economic Development Authority.
Baker was Spicer's 2005 Citizen of the Year, has served on the Spicer Commercial Club, is the chairman of the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District's board, a member of the Kandiyohi County Fair board and Minnesota State Fair board of managers. He owns Baker Printing.