Ramsey / These candidates are a couple
Husband and wife run for mayor, City Council
By Brady Gervais
Article Last Updated: 08/23/2008 10:27:33 PM CDT
Mary Ann and Keith Kiefer figure after being married for 30 years and raising five children, they can certainly lead a city together.
The Kiefers are running in the September primary in Ramsey for mayor and an at-large spot on the City Council. The couple have lived in the Anoka County suburb for three decades, and they've done blacksmith work, been youth leaders and baked a cake in a microwave together. Now they're pursuing politics as a couple.
"Ramsey is going through a lot of growing pains. Our nephew and daughters had growing pains, and we helped them get through it," Keith Kiefer said.
Initially, Mary Ann Kiefer didn't want her husband to run for mayor. He received harassing phone calls while he served on the Charter Commission, she said. She didn't want that to happen again.
She eventually changed her mind, and as a way to support him, she decided to run for office, too, seeking the at-large seat. They filed July 15 — the last day for filings.
"If we're going to do it, we're going to do it together," she said.
Mary Ann Moran and Keith Kiefer met in Las Vegas on Jan. 17, 1978. Moran was visiting from out of town to help her sister-in-law who was "very pregnant" with her second child.
Moran's brother and Kiefer worked together in the same squadron at Nellis Air Force Base. One evening, the brother invited Kiefer to his home to look at his car and have dinner. He made a good impression on Mary Ann and got many more invitations.
"We had a romance over doing dishes and walking dogs," Keith Kiefer said.
Two months later — on March 24 — they were married at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel in true Las Vegas fashion.
They describe themselves as an "atypical couple," but as in marriage, they pledge to support each other in politics till death do they part.
Should one of them get elected and not the other, they plan to back each other, though Mary Ann Kiefer said she'd miss her husband "quite a bit" if he makes it into office and she doesn't.
Their challengers have varying views on the prospect of a married couple getting elected to the City Council.
"It's not against the law, but to me, it seems to be a little bit ridiculous," said Bruce Bachler, who has lived in Ramsey for 32 years and is running for mayor.
He questions the fact that the Kiefers are running at the same time, and he worries the duo might often vote the same way.
Bob Ramsey, a Ramsey resident for four years who is running in the mayoral primary, said he's OK with the fact that the candidates are married to each other.
"I think any citizen should run," he said. "I don't think it matters if they're married or not."
Brady Gervais can be reached at 651-228-2171.
The Kiefers got separate individualized attention, from Anoka County Union - ABC Newspapers, in their regular pre-primary candidacy features, with this online, here, and here [please read the original articles since they discuss other candidates, ones I consider more meritorious, besides the Kiefers].
Keith Kiefer, 50, 6203 Rivlyn Ave. N.W., has lived in the community for more than four decades. I’ve been married more than 30 years to the same woman, raised four daughters and a nephew. My higher education is in the science and engineering disciplines.
I have served the country and community in the following ways: U.S. Air Force veteran, eight-plus years, past volunteer Ramsey Charter Commissioner (part of the time as chairman), presently six-plus years as a Ramsey Economic Development Authority commissioner (part of the time as vice chairman and treasurer), volunteer one year as chairman of the Ramsey Housing Committee, six years as Ramsey Happy Days Committee volunteer, junior high and senior high youth leader, Sunday school teacher, Youth First volunteer, America’s Promise volunteer, jury foreman, certified manufacturing technologist, past Society of Manufacturing Engineer (SME) member.
I have many hobbies and interests including fishing, wood working, metal working, member of the Central Blacksmith Guild and Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America, Inc. (ABANA) and volunteer for Twin Cities System Safety Society, etc.
Mary Ann Kiefer, 6203 Rivlyn Ave. N.W.
Years lived in community: 30
Family: Married with four daughters
Education: Certifications in tool and die making and mold making, Anoka-Hennepin Technical College 1997. Anoka-Ramsey Community College, College of the Desert
Occupation: Wire electronic discharge machining specialist.
Member: Hope Fellowship of Ramsey, Central Minnesota Blacksmiths Guild, International Bible Givers
Service History: Sunday school teacher, youth leader, unofficial volunteer for Ramsey Happy Days as husband Keith Kiefer’s helper.
And that is what the regular press has to say.
If you want more, I guess you go to the blogs. Minnesota District Court docket and other information is online. See the screenshots below relating to the two candidates, and as always, click on an image to enlarge and read.
Make what you will of that. And of this last item, below, on the City website, online documents, about an item set for a City Council Special Meeting, 7 pm, Sept. 2, Alexander Ramsey Room. Seldom would a matter like this be on a council agenda, without a history. I have filed a public data disclosure request with the City of Ramsey for disclosure of the history, concerning that location on Rivlyn, the Kiefer property. My guess is some of the history might be discussed at the special meeting, and with the council primary election soon upon us, every citizen wondering whether or not to vote for either of the Kiefers should attend. You owe it to yourself to be an informed voter.