By Lynda Jensen
Voters turned out in force for the area, flooding polls during a historic general election year that resulted in the first black man in history being elected to office, Democrat Barack Obama, who defeated Republican candidate John McCain.
Locally, turnout was highest in Mayer, Lester Prairie, Montrose and Waverly; of which all featured more than 100 percent turnout of voters, due to newly registered voters added to the total number on election day. The average statewide voter turnout was 77.9 percent. For a precinct breakdown of certain races, click here.
Locally, the highest percentage went to Mayer with 104 percent (920 ballots cast from a pool of 886 registered voters), with Lester Prairie taking second place at 102 percent (1,329 registered voters with 1,213 ballots cast). Previously, during the last general election year in 2004, Mayer featured a turnout of 129 percent, and Lester Prairie 113 percent. Also during the last general election, Montrose featured a voter turnout of 134 percent in 2004.
McLeod County Auditor Cindy Schultz noted that since Lester Prairie had so many new registrants in 2004, it raised the bar higher for turnout this time.
Voter turnout totals:
Although some contested races featured new faces, voters in most cities returned incumbents to their seats Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
A request to address the aging condition of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle School was voted down nearly two-to-one, with 3,270 no votes, and 1,333 yes votes.
Local voters also helped settle a number of races, except for a paper-thin victory of Senator Norm Coleman by about 400 votes from challenger Al Franken, according to unofficial results from the Minnesota Secretary of State. It is being recounted.
Montrose The new mayor in Montrose will be Andy Kauffman, who currently sits on the council as a council member. He will replace outgoing Mayor Charlie Nelson. Results were as follows: Kauffman (579), Lloyd Johnson (525), and Tim Hackenmiller (208).
For Montrose council, incumbent Jeff Petersen and Scott Jensen were elected, from a pool of seven candidates. Results were Jeff Petersen (565), Scott Jensen (428), Jason W. Simmons (415), Lisa Ellwoods (407), Mary McCarty (252), Georgina E. Woidyla (220), and Joseph Debauche (106).
Lester Prairie Lester Prairie voters elected current council member Andy Heimerl as the new mayor. Results are: Heimerl (497), and Stan Ehrke (300). As for city council, two were elected to four-year term, Bob Messer and Art Mallak. For the two-year term, Ron Foust was elected.
Results for council are as follows: Messer (509), Mallak (432), Travis Schlangen (231) and Darvin Heldt (186). Results for the two-year term are Foust (713).
Waverly Voters elected existing council member Ken Antil to mayor.
Results are: Ken Antil (513), and city council Connie Holmes (405), Gary Olson (257), Keith Harris (209), and Charlie Brown (139)
Winsted Incumbents were relected with the following results: Mayor Steve Stotko (1,039), and Council members Tom Ollig (939) and Bonnie Quast (863).
Howard Lake Incumbents were returned to their seats. Results are: Mayor Rick Lammers (754), and the following council member results Mike Mitchell (two-year term - 766), Tom Kutz (four-year term - 670, and Jan Gilmer (four-year term - 599)
Mayer Mayer voters returned Mayor Chris Capaul to office, and elected Tice McPadden and Bruce Osborn to city council. Results are as follows: Chris Capaul (660), Tice Stieve-McPadden (299), Bruce Osborn (245), Tim Masters (236), Erick Boder (211), Allen Pedersen (174), and Bryan Geruntho (126).
New Germany Voters in New Germany elected incumbents only. Results are Mayor Pete Pederson (139), and council members Shirley Jaeger (four-year term - 124), Marc Trujillo (four-year term - 100), and Jim Paul (two-year term - 135).
State rep. seats are filled
State Rep. Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake kept his seat in District 18A despite a challenge from former Lester Prairie mayor Eric Angvall. Results are: Shimanski (12,312) and Eric Angvall (7,122)
State Rep. Dean Urdahl was also re-elected to his position for District 18B. Results are Urdahl (11,813) and Dave Detert (8,297).
For District 34A, State Rep. Paul Kohls kept his seat against challenger Marcia Krueger. Results are Kohls (18,187) to Krueger (8,724).
Lester Prairie School Board
Three candidates were elected to the Lester Prairie School Board: Karla Heigl, Rollie Radtke, and Joe Miller. Results are: Karla Heigl (985), Rollie Radtke (885), Joe Miller (851), and Corbey Hentges (620).
Congressional seats open
US Representative Michele Bachmann edged opponent El Tinklenberg in election results (this district includes Wright County). Results are Bachmann (187,808) and El Tinklenberg (175,784).
In other congressional races, incumbent John Kline bested Steve Sarvi in District 2. Results are: Kline (220,926 ) and Sarvi (164,079).
For District 7, Collin Peterson easily overtook challenger Glen Menze of Starbuck, with results being 227,179 votes for Peterson and 87,058 for Menze. District 7 includes Meeker and McLeod counties.
Although several unopposed judges filled the ballot, there were a handful of true races on local ballots.
There were two such races in District 10, which includes Wright County, and one in District 1, which covers both McLeod and Carver counties. The Supreme Court results are listed at the end.
District 10 (Wright County):
• Nancy Logering was elected (198,827 votes) against challenger Luke Stellpflug (113,540).
• Robert Varco was elected (170,769) over John Dehen (153,107).
District 1 (McLeod and Carver counties):
• Joseph Carter was elected (165,781) over challenger Nathaniel Reitz (104,916).
On the Supreme Court level (statewide, featured on every ballot), there were two races as well as a third race for the Court of Appeals.
• Paul Anderson was elected (1,177,722) over a challenge from Tim Tingelstad (768,391)
• Lori Skjerven-Gildea was elected (1,031,576) over a challenge from Deb Hedlund (837,816).
Court of Appeals:
• Terri Stoneburner was elected (1,073,729) over Dan Griffith (751,937)
The Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment to the constitution was approved with 1,522,528 yes votes and 1,073,512 no votes.
* For Carver County, the percentages were calculated by using the proportion of persons voting to the number of registered voters in the precinct as of 7 a.m. on election day. New election day voter registrations were not included in the number of registered voters.