Maplewood candidates file for office

Primary to be held Aug. 13

Filing for Maplewood’s open mayoral seat and two city council positions closed Tuesday, June 4, with three candidates throwing their hats in the ring for mayor and seven candidates vying for two city council seats.

Mayor Will Rossbach announced earlier this spring that he would not be running for re-election. He served on the city council for six years before he was elected mayor in 2009. His decision step down created an opening that former mayor Diana Longrie, former DFL state representative Nora Slawik and resident Fran Grant hope to fill.

Council incumbents Rebecca Cave and Kathy Juenemann have filed to retain their seats and will be challenged by five candidates.

Because more than two candidates filed for mayor and more than four candidates filed for city council, the city will hold a primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 13. Director of Citizens’ Services Karen Guilfoile said Maplewood is the only city in Ramsey County that will hold a primary this year. The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

See below for a list of the candidates. Several candidates opted to submit photos and filing statements to the Review. Additional candidate information can be found at

Mayor Candidates:

Fran Grant

Grant has filed for mayor in the past, but has not received enough votes in the primaries to continue to November elections. Grant declined to comment to the Review and said she did not "believe in photos." A voluntary disclosure form she submitted to the city lists a personal statement of "Change for taxpayers."

Diana Longrie


Maplewood mayor 2005-2009

Longrie served as Maplewood's first female mayor for four years from 2005 to 2009. She ran for 4th district U.S. representative in 2010, but did not defeat 9-year incumbent Betty McCollum.

She attended the College of St. Scholastica and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology. Longrie is a neighborhood attorney in the Gladstone area and attended Hamline University School of Law. She served on the Maplewood Community Design Review Board as chair before being elected mayor.

Longrie, a mother of two adult children, hosts and edits two cable television shows, "Off the Record News" and "Washington at Work."


Nora Slawik


Endorsed by DFL

Slawik served as a Minnesota state representative for district 55B serving southern Maplewood and Oakdale for seven non-consecutive terms from 1996 to 2012. She has a bachelor of science degree in recreation administration from Arizona State University and a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota.

Slawik has two children. She also serves on the Maplewood Parks and Recreation Commission.


Council Candidates:

Marylee Abrams


Abrams has lived in Maplewood for 15 years. She works as a labor and employment attorney and has run her own law firm, Abrams & Schmidt, LLC, since 2008. Before entering the legal field, Abrams was a public school teacher for 10 years.

Abrams earned a bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University and completed her law degree at William Mitchell College of Law. She has two adult children.


Margaret Behrens


Behrens has lived in Maplewood for over 49 years and was appointed to the Maplewood Parks System Task Force this spring. She works as a program counselor for Life Works, Inc.

She also currently serves on the Ramsey Conservation District board.

A filing statement submitted by the candidate to the Review can be found at



Rebecca Cave

City council member 2006-2007, 2012-present

Cave has served on the city council for almost two non-consecutive years, having filled open spaces in special elections in 2006 and 2012. She currently works for the office of the state surgeon. She has three children, two of whom attend school in Maplewood.

Her husband, George, is a Maplewood firefighter.

Ron Cockriel

Cockriel currently serves on the Maplewood Parks and Recreation Commission and the Fish Creek Greenway Ad-hoc Commission. He is a board member of Friends of Maplewood Nature.

Kathleen "Kathy" Juenemann

City council member 2001-present

Endorsed by DFL

Juenemann is a 12-year city council member. She and her husband, Greg, have lived in the Parkside area since 1975. She attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, and has served on various Maplewood commissions and committees in the past including the Police Civil Service Commission, Neighborhood Crime Watch and Solid Waste Recycling Task Force.

Roger Samarani

In a voluntary disclosure form he submitted to the city, Samarani identifies himself as a "business owner and employer" in Maplewood and says he "look(s) forward to working with Rebecca Cave, Bob Cardinal and Marv Koppen."

Warren Wessel

Wessel is a realtor serving Minnesota and Wisconsin. He currently serves on the Maplewood Housing and Economic Development Commission, and formerly served on the Oakdale Parks Commission. He attended Minnesota State Mankato (formerly Mankato State University) and earned a bachelor of science in math education and coaching certificate.

Prior to his work as a realtor, Wessel taught math and coached at Hill-Murray High School.

He has a daughter, three adult step-daughters and four grandchildren.

A filing statement submitted by the candidate to the Review can be found at

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