Rice Lake reelects Heim, Hegstrom to council

Approximately 3,100 voters in one of the state's newest cities turned out on Tuesday.

A blanket showing the history of Rice Lake seen at the Rice Lake City Hall.
Clint Austin / 2021 file / Duluth News Tribune
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RICE LAKE. Minn. — Voters in one of the Northland's newest cities on Tuesday sent a pair of incumbents back for second terms on their City Council.

Jayme Heim received 38.79% of the 3,119 votes cast for Rice Lake City Council candidates, and John Hegstrom received 29.27%, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website . The remaining two candidates for the pair of open seats on the council, Pat McDonald and Brian Dunphy, received 20.68% and 10.64% of the remaining votes cast, respectively.

Heim, a longtime health care worker and administrator, was elected to the council in 2018, and served on its utilities commission for two years before that. She’s been a frequent presence at civic meetings there since 2015.

Hegstrom was also elected to the council in 2018. Before that, he served on the Rice Lake Planning Commission and a joint airport zoning board.

McDonald, a retired business owner, has lived in Rice Lake since 1979. Dunphy is a Two Harbors High School graduate and construction worker who moved back to the Duluth area in 2008.


An administrative law judge has cleared the way for Rice Lake Township to become Minnesota's newest incorporated city. In an order dated Aug. 20, Judge Barbara Case ruled the township just north of Duluth "has established the relevant factors by ...

Rice Lake was a longstanding township and bedroom community that stood along the northern edge of Duluth since the late 1800s. Leaders of the then-township, worried about being annexed by their much larger southern neighbor, convinced state administrators to let the town be an incorporated city in 2015.

From the column: "A commitment to uphold common-sense, statutory, and bipartisan election-integrity measures is important."

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

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