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District 196 voters re-elect Roseen, Coulson with school board newcomer Angrimson

Mike Roseen1 / 3
Art Coulson2 / 3
Craig Angrimson3 / 3

Two District 196 School Board members will return to their positions with one newcomer following the Tuesday's election.

Incumbent candidates Art Coulson and Mike Roseen each gained just over 20 percent of the vote, followed by challenger Craig Angrimson with 16 percent.

Voters elected Apple Valley resident Angrimson over incumbent Gary Huusko, who served on the board for more than two decades who gained just over 11 percent of the vote.

Although this election marks his first successful bid for school board, Angrimson ran for the position three times before during the 2013 and 2015 elections and for a vacant seat in the 2016 special election.

An operating engineer by trade, Angrimson served as president of the local International Operating Engineer's Union for three years and co-chaired a Metropolitan Council safety committee, according to his website.

Among the priorities Angrimson identified in a previous RiverTown Multimedia election questionnaire was improving communication between the district and the public. Better communication with families of diverse backgrounds, he said, could also help close academic achievement gaps.

Angrimson also said he would balance the district's budget by advocating to legislators for per-pupil funding that increases with inflation rather than relying on tax levies.

Angrimson could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.

Apple Valley resident Art Coulson will return to the District 196 school board position he's held for nearly a decade.

"We're a really high-performing district and I think the voters were looking for stability," Coulson said, adding he was happy about the number of candidates running for a school board seat.

"I like to see that there's competition, that people care about their schools and want to get involved in their schools," he said.

Coulson said although his re-election signals voters' satisfaction with the district's work, he echoed Angrimson's concern over "flat state funding."

Despite small boosts in state funding, he said, "we're still way behind where we would have been if we had just incremental increases each year."

Roseen, an Apple Valley resident and the third incumbent voters elected, secured another term on the school board. He was first elected in 1989.

Roseen could not be reached for comment before press time Tuesday.

Eight candidates ran for the three open seats.

Rebecca Gierok of Apple Valley came in behind Huusko with 1,513 votes, about 11 percent of the vote. Daniel O'Neil of Eagan followed with 1,126, while Bianca Ward Virnig of Eagan gained 1,003 votes. Brian Buechele of Lakeville pulled in 470 votes.

A total of 4,880 voters cast their ballot in the school board election, representing about 5 percent of the 95,940 registered voters prior to the polls opening.