Tuesday’s elections resulted in several changes to local offices
By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN The 2010 election season came to a head Tuesday as the citizens of Dassel, Cokato, and Darwin voted for a number of local offices, many of which went uncontested.
City of Dassel
With five candidates running for two seats, incumbent Jason Benzing and Wayne Medcraft received the most support from Dassel voters.
Medcraft had 245 votes and Benzing had 240 votes. Votes for the other candidates were: Larry Oberg, 216; Kim Clancy, 165; and Jack Adams, 143.
Mayor Mike Scanlon ran for re-election unopposed and received 533 votes.
City of Darwin
In the City of Darwin, the mayoral seat has been filled by Josh Johnson, who ran against Mike Diederich. Johnson received 130 votes, while Diederich received 24.
The two council seats went to the only two candidates who filed for the positions. They were Lee Peterson, who received 96 votes; and Mark Smith, who had 120 votes.
City of Cokato
The offices of mayor and two city council members may have been shoe-ins, but voters did have their say on a new public safety building and Sunday liquor.
The first question, which would finance the construction of a new public safety building up to $1.4 million, failed with 533 votes against it and 486 votes for it.
The second question, which would allow for permits for establishments to sell on-sale liquor on Sundays also failed, with 551 against it and 489 for it.
The open seat of mayor has been filled by current council member Gordy Erickson, who received 802 votes.
The two open council seats have also been filled by resident Jesse Bunker, with 608 votes; and retiring public works director Ken Bakke, who received 644 votes.
Dassel-Cokato School Board (ISD 466)
With three seats open, two members will return to the Dassel-Cokato School Board; that of Kevin Bjork, who received 2,485 votes; and Richard Tormanen, who received 2,587. Newly elected to the board is Rebecca Clemen, who received 2,187 votes.
In the Meeker County sheriff’s race, incumbent Jeff Norlin received the most votes, with 5,265. Benjamin Aho received 4,369 votes.
Despite heavy support from Cokato area voters, Leonard Wozniak, Stockholm Township, was roughly 700 votes shy of beating his opponent for Wright County Commissioner District 5 Dick Mattson.
Mattson, who is also the incumbent, won with 3,831 votes. Wozniak had 3,133 votes.
State and federal races
In a predominately Republican district, Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) came out on top in the MN Senate District 18 race with 16,587 votes (56 percent).
“I’m very pleased,” Newman said, adding he is optimistic for the future and is looking forward to going to work.
“Things are going to brighten up for us,” Newman said.
His contenders, Cokato resident Hal Kimball (DFL-Cokato) received 10,821 votes (37 percent), and Richard Hoff (I-Cosmos) received 2,083 votes (7 percent).
Disappointed with the results, Kimball said “don’t think anybody would’ve predicted Democrats losing both the state house and senate.”
As far as re-running in 2014, Kimball said “it’s a little too early to make that decision and put my head in th lion’s mouth again.”
In the MN House of Representatives District 18B race, incumbent Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) received the most votes with 10,062, or 64 percent of the votes within the district.
Urdahl’s opponent, Darrin Anderson (DFL-Litchfield) received 5,545 votes, or 35 percent of the votes.
In the US Congressional races, Republican Michele Bachmann was re-elected in District 6 with 159,479 votes (53 percent) and her opponent, Democrat Tarryl Clark received 120,846 votes (40 percent).
In District 7, Democrat Collin Peterson was re-elected with 133,092 (53 percent). His opponent, Lee Byberg recieved 90,653 votes (38 percent).