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Against the Odds: Matt Little, 27, Elected as Lakeville's Next Mayor

Little, a freshmen City Councilor and law student, defeated incumbent Mayor Mark Bellows and a third challenger in Councilor Laurie Rieb.

City Councilor Matt Little is Lakeville's newest mayor.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old law student, and current City Councilor, defeated incumbent mayor Mark Bellows and challenger Laurie Rieb on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

With all precincts reporting, Little received 12,175 votes, or 43.93 percent of the 27,715 total votes cast. Bellows had 10,803 votes, or 39.08 percent of the total. Rieb received 4,638 votes, or 16.73 percent.

Little went to Facebook to unofficially claim victory, saying: "I want to thank everybody who made this possible. Looking forward to building a better city!" 

See our election results page.

Lakeville Patch will have far more on the elections on Wednesday.

Harvey Simpson November 08, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Pam-Matt knew if he built the senior center they would vote for them. It is no different than pork barrel money in DC. I'm still trying to figure out why the money raising sign hasn't been updated. Or hasn't the old location pending sale close yet?
Scott A November 08, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Brian H needs to look at a map before (multiple times) commenting and questioning whether Mr. Little lives in Lakeville or Rosemount. He's a Lakeville resident in that he lives within the Lakeville city limits and has a Rosemount zip. Blame the post office for that, not the city of Lakeville or Mayor-elect Little.
Lakeville resident November 08, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Pete..Progressive Rail leases the track from CP, they don't own it and I believe most cars are not Progressive's, but are stored for someone else for profit at our expense. Analogy for you: Let's say we're neighbors. I am storing a pretty ugly, rusty old motorhome in my driveway for my friend Bob. Bob is paying me a nice sum of money to store it for him, and in this tough economy I need the money. So it sits there, outside your kitchen window, for years as I collect $$. Then one night some teenagers come along and paint profane graffiti on the side of it, but I don't care and just leave it there. Besides, it's not my motorhome to paint. So it just sits there for you to look at day after day. You've asked me nicely to move it, but it's my property and I can do whatever I want on my property, right? Do you think you or the city would have something to say about that issue Pete???
AM November 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Sick of the Good Ol's Boys Club ....... Bellows had no intrest in running and only ran because the Bob Erickson crew wanted him to run. Look .. voting for someone who doesn't care is a problem. At least Little has intrest in doing something and tries to come up with solutions. Bellows famous line "We can do better .." but do better how .. never came up with on his own just what the "Good Ol' Boys" that was a good idea. It's time for somehting new anything and Matt was the only one who stood up to the challange.
Lakeville resident November 08, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Harvey...good point that's been made many times over, but there are some problems with it, and I would encourage you to do some more research on this issue. First off, these tracks were not built for the purpose of being a rail storage facility. Lakeville was est. in 1858, long before the tracks were built and the city does not want the tracks in our neighborhoods to be utilized as a storage facility for graffiti-filled rusty old railcars either. Furthermore, you don't have to live next to the tracks to be a victim of Progressive Rail. They have environmental fines in at least three instances (that I know) of in MN & WI by the MPCA and WI DOJ in 2005, 2008 & 2011. The 2005 & 2008 spill were right here at their facility in Lakeville. They failed to immediately notify the MPCA of a number of spills and failed to have a pollution prevention plan. (What else have they covered up that we don't know about?) You don't have to live along the tracks to be immune to Progressive Rail's pollution. So aside from the fact that a residential neighborhood is not the appropriate place for a railyard, Progressive Rail's pollution could be coming to a lake, river or some ground water near you.
Brian H November 08, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I would just prefer a mayor who has held a fulltime job/paid a mortgage/gone to Lakeville High School maybe? (He went to Rosemount) I mean I am not attacking him or 100% against Little, its just odd the way he went about winning the race, with all the outside money, renting a campaign headquarters downtown etc. This would seem appropriate if he were running for mayor of Minneapolis or say New York. But Lakeville? I would rather have a longtime community member be my mayor than a kid right out of school who is obviously trying to be a career politician, and probably wont stick around Lakeville a day longer than his 2 year term.
Billy November 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Let's be honest, the matt little political signs on display for the past 12 MONTHS are more of an eyesore that the Progressive rail cars. I'm going to ask my council to put restrictions on the size of the signs. The competition to have the largest sign is ridiculous
Brian H November 08, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I agree Billy, the signs were a major visual nuisance. Its one thing to have them up in people's yards which is fine. Its another to have a 10'X10' LITTLE sign up along bike trails and areas that are meant for recreation and enjoyment. It was also quite annoying to have Little signs placed along the Juno Trailway on Lake Marion. It just seems like Little is setting a precedent for what needs to be spent to run for Mayor in Lakeville.
Lakeville resident November 08, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I agree, the political signs are an eyesore and the TV ads are annoying, but at least we now have a four year reprieve. I don't see an end to Progressive Rail's storage and if you live next to a rusty old railcar with profanity on the side of it for years, I think that is a worse eyesore. No question, some sort of federal ordinance needs to be passed to make our neighbhorhoods a railcar storage-free zone just like Rosemount and Anoka which have railroad quiet zones. Residents in Rosemount went to...guess who?...their mayor and city council to get this done. One Rosemount resident described their mayor and city council as 'very progressive'. That's what I'm expecting from Mayor Little and the Lakeville City Council.
Billy November 08, 2012 at 08:18 PM
We don't have a four year reprieve! Mayor is only 2 years and Little will announce his re-election campaign this time next year so we'll be seeing his signs in time for Christmas 2013...that's assume they can get a crane in there to pull the 10X10's out before then. Last night in my next of the woods the only signs remaining were Little's.
Denny November 09, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I think all you commentators should run for government office, since you know all the answers. BTW, that leaves me out. All I want to add is that I voted for Matt because he has good manners, unlike the very un-reverend Mr. Bellows.
ABSG November 09, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Can you imagine Little asking to meet with the president of Progressive? Receptionist calls back .... "Some kid is here to speak with you sir....I think he wants to do an interview for a book report".....what a joke!
ABSG November 09, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Good manners??? He was tweeting during meetings!! You call that good manners and who knows what else he does. Again what a joke!
ABSG November 09, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Matt Little ???? ... Come-On' ... What is wrong with you people...Seriously? For some of you, a reason you voted for Little was because he started a Food Pantry? Are you serious ? That's a qualification you hold in high regard to be able to handle the lives of 60,000 people? My 8 year old daughter had a lemonade stand last year, I guess she is just as qualified, maybe I will have her run for Mayor when she is 10. Geezuz ...As for the presidential election, I keep thinking this whole election is just a bad nightmare! Because if it isn't, it's actually going to be a nightmare in real life! I can't believe that 50% of this country is so uninformed, uneducated on what it takes to run a Gov't....we don't live in Candy Land folks - we can not operate as one giant food shelf or a Community Center! We need to let businesses and people fail so they get the fear of god in them and start helping themselves. We need to live within our means and go WITHOUT if need be! All I hear now from Dems is "can't we all just get along"? NO - we aren't in kindergarten anymore people - we need to make tough choices and if some fall behind so be it. We need to let them figure it out on their own! We can't Tax, Spend and Pander- and the rich are not going to be your saving grace! So Disgusted in 50% of you! God Help Us All - Is A Huge Understatement! The next 4 years will be YOUR fault, not Bush or anyone else you will try and blame this disaster on.
jessewicks November 09, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Gosh ABSG... If we knew that you were going to be disgusted with 50% of us, we sure would have considered that... 'right after' we were done voting. And against child labor laws, we are guessing you made your 8 year old build her own lemonade stand, because no one should be willing to help anyone. And then you mention God in the same paragraph. What a christian contradiction that is.
jessewicks November 09, 2012 at 07:05 AM
AM, Thanks for sharing the excellent perspective regarding Mark, "We can do better" Bellows. In the end, Bellows was exactly right, we elected someone much better. It became very obvious to us that Bellows interests were strickly to the business cartels. Matt Little understands that without consideration of the citizens, the businesses would not survive on their own. Businesses only make money when and if we decide to spend it,
jessewicks November 09, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Denny, I completely agree with you regarding Bellow's treatment of his fellow council members. He is rude and arrogant towards them anytime they out think him, and that seemed to be often. I think Little will be a breath of fresh air for Lakeville compared to what we were gagging on with Bellows attempting to ram-rod his agenda based only on his say so. Glad hes going away shortly. He needs to spend some time sitting in the corner for his bad behavior as Mayor.
jessewicks November 09, 2012 at 07:19 AM
I'm guessing the Bellows camp pulled theirs.... just prior to burning them. It's getting cold outside... ya know. Stay warm Billy
jessewicks November 09, 2012 at 07:28 AM
You must be talking about something like Chip Cravaack's situation. So that's maybe why they ran him out of town... humm?
Matt F November 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Amen Brother!
Matt F November 09, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Good manners? The guy has the worse bedside manners this north of the Rio Grande. He comes onto the council and instantly starts creating anxiety for the rest of the council and within 12 months announces he is going to run for mayor to be a better leader which creates more havoc for the city. Where are we at in the fundraising efforts of his senior center and what are the additional operating costs for that thing. Whenever I drive by the building is empty, no cars, no events.
Matt F November 09, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Jesse - remember when Mitt Romney made his 47% speech? I have a hunch you are part of that %. Do you have your Obama phone? If not, go out to youtube and search "obama phone". I have a feeling you follow the same reliance on gov't as the lady in the video. In the meantime you and Joe and the rest of the Little gang should rename the Senior Center the "Matt Little Senior Center". This way we will all remember Matt Little's legacy.
Lakeville resident November 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
ABSG..I was kind of on the fence about who to vote for this year, and agree with you that we can't tax, spend & pander, and some people do just need to 'figure it out on their own'.....but to say that whoever doesn't agree with you (50% of the population) is uninformed, uneducated and everything will be all their fault for the next four years? A little overbearing, arrogant and simplistic, don't you think?
ABSG November 10, 2012 at 01:03 AM
"A little overbearing, arrogant and simplistic, don't you think?" No I don't ... evidentally we have to dumb it down for some people in order for them to catch on. I hear some people say I didn't vote for Romney because he came off that he didn't care about us and in some cases because of a SINGLE issue .... REALLY ? Everyone has a right to vote, but this isn't a popularity contest. Most people probably don't like Sam Walton (from Waltmart) as their boss either, but he runs one of the most successful companies on Earth!! We don't have to like everyone in order for them to do a good job. Who cares what color their skin is, how big their lapel pin is or even if he is a total a**. I think perhaps the more of an a** someone is probably the better they perform at their job. Perhaps we need to have people take a class on how to vote ? I am disappointed in the half of the country that believes they need a massive Government to cloak them like a warm blanket. The ones who believe a collective, somehow has more interest in their family then they as individuals do. Over half the country wants this new America .That's the part that makes me vomit. It's not about Obama, it's about how pathetic we have become as a nation.The liberals won big, but the country lost. And we all know it.
ABSG November 10, 2012 at 01:07 AM
And one last thing - They say the Republican Party must “re-evaluate” what they need to represent??? What does that mean? At this point, to me, it means accepting illegal immigration, raising taxes, food stamps for anyone who doesn’t want to work, in other words….accepting everything we are against and that the irresponsible Democratic nuts believe in and vote for! With the millions who vote for this because they already receive all of it, why then would they vote for any candidate who would offer anything less??? I think we have REALLY lost this time, much more than just one election!
Harvey Simpson November 10, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Romney said 47% is dependent on the govt. I guess another 4% who voted for him want the same entitlements. Go get your welfare Obama phone today!
Harvey Simpson November 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Actually maybe Matt Little can get more voters by having the city pay for cell phones for our residents. We'll call it the Little Phone
Lakeville resident November 10, 2012 at 04:47 PM
ABSG, I see you are really passionate about your beliefs...and that's a good thing. You have some very valid points....but you lost me at "Perhaps we need to have people take a class on how to vote ?" Do you mean perhaps we need to have people take a class on how vote for the same candidate you do? Look on the bright side....Obama has four more years, Matt Little two.....if the everthing gets worse you're probably guaranteed a winner in the next election!
Jason November 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I think if we are being honest, and you wanted a true post-mortem on why Matt Little won, and Mark Bellows is now a one-term Mayor, you need look no further than here. Lakeville is a changing city, and one where multiple viewpoints are taking root because of that change. The vast majority of this city, as well as the nation, spoke loudly across a wide range of candidates & issues that while they do not expect to be considered "right" in every case, they do expect consideration and respect in sharing those views. From the beginning, Mayor Bellows and his most loyal and vocal followers seemed to reject the notion that multiple points of view were welcome. We were greeted with non-stop "proclamations" of truth and the way things must be on here and in other public forums, and differing opinions and perspectives were attacked, most often in a personal manner, and dismissed. While I too believe that Mayor Bellows, by and large, is an honorable man, you will learn if you poll most outside of this forum that MANY Lakeville residents felt his harsh and contentious reaction to opposing viewpoints on the budget, the old police station and the Senior Center were too myopic and close-minded, especially when the majority opinion didn't match his. Now I look here, and the offensiveness and condescending tone displayed by most on here just reinforces it. Lakeville wants people who want to work together and respect opposing views. This page shows why one won, and another lost.
Lakeville resident November 13, 2012 at 07:13 PM
ABSG, in my experience, Dave Fellon, the president of Progressive, is pretty childish, so maybe you've got something there!

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