By Lynda Jensen
The election this year features numerous state representatives, county commissioner seats, as well as big ticket positions such as US senate, US vice president and president, as well as state representatives. School board, city council and township positions are also up. Other subjects that voters will decide include:
• electing judges for the Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, as well as settling races for district court judges in Wright and Meeker counties
• deciding whether to change the state constitution with something called the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which will increase the sales tax by 3/8 percent, with those funds designated funds for natural resources, arts, and entertainment.
Two county commissioner seats are open in Wright County this year, the position currently served by Jack Russek of Delano (District 3), and the position served by Karla Heeter of Silver Creek Township, which is District 1 (primarily the Annandale area). Heeter has said she will not re-file and has taken a job elsewhere. In this race, Annandale Mayor Sam Harmoning and Rose Thelen of Clearwater are featured.
Russek and Matt Walker of Buffalo are running in District 3.
Also in Wright County is a race for Soil & Water supervisor. Incumbent Duane Dahlman of Cokato is being challenged by Lynne Cason, also from Cokato, for the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor position.
Meeker features one county commissioner seat open, that of District 5 served by Ron Kutzke of Grove City. Ron Peterson of Grove City is running against him.
State representative seats open in the fall as well
This year also features several state representative seats open.
For state representative in District 18A, DFLer Eric Angvall of Lester Prairie is challenging incumbent Ron Shimanski of Silver Lake. District 18A includes all of McLeod County, plus Collinwood Township, Cedar Mills, and Cedar Mills Township in Meeker County.
In District 18B, Democrat David Detert of Litchfield is challenging incumbent Dean Urdahl of Grove City. District 18B includes the cities of Annandale, Cokato, Howard Lake, and South Haven, and the townships of Cokato, Corinna, French Lake, Middleville, Stockholm, and Southside in Wright County, and extends west into Meeker County.
Congressional seats open
Two congressional seats that represent the area are up for election, those served by Michele Bachmann (District 6), and Collin Peterson (District 7).
For District 7, Republican Glen Menze of Starbuck is challenging Peterson. District 7 encompasses a huge chunk of area that is west of the Twin Cities. At its eastern end, it includes voters in Meeker County.
Bachmann faces Democrat El Tinklenberg on the ballot. US District 6 includes a huge chunk of area that is northwest of the Twin Cities. At its southern end, it includes Wright County.
School board seats open
• DC School Board Six have filed for the three DC board seats open; Mari Pokornowski, Dr. Tracy McConkey, Irene Bender, Jenny Lee, Mark Linder, and Matt Cron. The seats open are those being served by Cary Linder, Brian Danielson, and Denise Ertl. All are four-year terms.
Council, mayor seats open
• Cokato Five have filed in Cokato for two city council seats and two for mayor. Seats open include the mayorship served by Bruce Johnson, along with the council seats served by Carl Harju and Butch Amundsen.
Two are running for mayor, incumbent Bruce Johnson and Wayne Murphy, who is currently serving as a city council member. For city council, incumbents Carl Harju and Butch Amundsen re-filed as well as Chad Wuollet, Matt Stumpf and Mark Curlew.
• Dassel Five have filed for two seats on the Dassel City Council and two for the mayor position, incumbent Mayor Ava Flachmeyer and Mike Scanlon.
For council, the following people have filed: incumbents Wayne Medcraft and Bob Lalone, as well as Alesia Warner, Neil Bonde Sr., and Jack Adams. Seats up in the fall for Dassel are two four-year positions served by Medcraft and Lalone, as well as the mayorship served by Flachmeyer.
• Darwin Six filed in Darwin for two council seats open there. Two filed for mayor, incumbent Orlan Cervin and Mike Diedrich. For council, four filed for the two open seats, incumbent Diane Porth, as well as Clinton Lindquist, Jeremy Cates, and Tim Matheson. City Council Member Patti Burdick did not re-file.
• Kingston three filed in Kingston, one for mayor and two for city council seats open there. For council, two filed for the two open seats; incumbent Jim Herda re-filed, as well as newcomer Doug Serbus. Dale Steinborn, who is currently serving the council, did not re-file. The mayor position served by John Smith is up, with Smith re-filing for this position.
Townships are ready for elections, too
Three townships are gearing up for the fall election, Kingston and Darwin townships, with positions to fill on the November ballot, as well as Stockholm, which will ask about building a new town hall.
Darwin and Kingston both offer one supervisor and the clerk position open.
Stockholm Township will have a question on its ballot Nov. 4 whether voters would like to build a new town hall, said Stockholm Township Clerk Diane Johnson Wednesday.
Darwin features the clerk spot served by Hildur Carlson, as well as the supervisor position served by Mike Pollock. Hildur re-filed for clerk. Two candidates filed for supervisor, Archie Peters and Eric Gabrielson.
Kingston Township features the clerk position open served by Gail Schiefelbein, and supervisor position served by Harley Hendrickson. For supervisor, Ned Root filed in Kingston. Schiefelbein re-filed for the clerk position.