Mark Peterson is Winona’s new mayor.
The executive director of the Winona County Historical Society beat challenger George Borzyskowski, winning 6,042-5,058 with 15 of 16 precincts reporting Tuesday night.
“It was a great race, it was a great opportunity to get out there and meet people, and I had a good opponent,” Peterson said. “I look forward to the honor of serving the people of Winona,” he added.
Peterson’s lead in the mayoral race was made clear months ago in the August primary, when he emerged well ahead of all other contenders for the seat. He received 1,148 votes in the primary--360 more than Borzyskowksi in second place.
Borzyskowski will continue to serve as the 4th Ward council member -- he doesn’t stand for re-election until 2014.
Peterson gathered with friends and family at the Ground Round in Winona Tuesday night to watch the results roll in. Volunteers snacked on white and blue candy—Peterson’s campaign colors—and several donned “Vote Mark Peterson,” T-Shirts. At about 9 p.m., Peterson said he was having fun and that win or lose, he had no regrets.
Under Peterson’s leadership, the city may see a focus on downtown development, specifically on Main Street and at Winona’s Levee Park. He said a local-option sales tax could be considered to fund any large projects.
Originally from Mankato, Minn., Peterson moved to Winona with his family in 1983. He’s been active in a number of community organizations and groups, including the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission, the Winona Convention and Visitors Bureau (now called Visit Winona), and the Chamber of Commerce centennial committee. In addition to his work at the historical society, he is an adjunct history professor at Winona State University.