Red Wing residents to elect new mayor

Red Wing will soon have a new leader, months after the city’s mayor resigned because of his ties to the frac sand industry.

Six names will be on today’s ballot, including Dan Bender; Elizabeth K. Kocina; Christopher L. Nelson; John M. Sachen; Ernest W. Stone; and Samantha Tix.

The Post-Bulletin reports Tix is the first member of the Prairie Island Indian Community to run for public office in Red Wing.

Polls will open at eight locations around the city from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Former Mayor Dennis Egan stepped down in February amid controversy after he became executive director of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council.

At the time, Egan said his new job as a lobbyist was not a conflict of interest, but several members of the Red Wing City Council objected before he resigned from the position.

Red Wing is one of a number of Minnesota communities where frac sand mining has become a contentious issue. The silica sand is used to extract oil and natural gas through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Earlier this month, Winona County approved its first sand mine, which critics say should undergo stricter environmental review.