By Kristen Miller
The 2012 election season has brought forth several changes to local governments, including a new mayor in Dassel, new commissioners at the council level, and even Sunday liquor for the city of Cokato.
Though there were some heavily-contested races, such as Meeker County Board of Commissioners, there were also noncontested races as well, including the city of Cokato and Dassel-Cokato School Board.
City of Dassel
Jeffrey Putnam took the lead in the mayoral race with 309, with two-term mayor Mike Scanlon 36 votes behind with 273. Mayoral candidate Larry Oberg received 109 votes.
Seats currently held on the council by Bob Lalone and Jack Adams will be filled in January by Sharon Asplin and Sara Bollman Nelson.
Asplin received the most votes with 459 ballots cast for her, and Nelson second with 391 votes.
Lalone was next with 166 votes, Jonathan Haapala received 136 votes, and Adams had 91 votes.
City of Cokato
In Cokato, voters approved Sunday liquor.
The question on the ballot read: Shall the City Council be allowed to issue on-sale licenses to restaurants, clubs, bowling centers, and hotels for the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sundays? YES (for license) NO (against license)
There were 717 votes for the ordinance and 591 against it.
The council and mayoral seat went uncontested this year, with Mayor Gordy Erickson receiving 1,075 votes, Council Member Carl Harju receiving 889 votes, and Council Member Butch Amundsen receiving 462 votes.
City of Darwin
The city of Darwin has two new faces on its council. Serving four-year terms on the council are Mark Gabrielson, who had 166 votes; and Sarah Kotila, who had 87 votes. Jeremy Cates received 68 votes.
Mayor Josh Johnson was unopposed and had 158 votes in his favor.
Dassel-Cokato School Board (ISD 466)
The three Dassel-Cokato School Board members have been voted in for a second term.
Mark Linder received 3,023, Tracy McConkey received 2,952, and Irene Bender received 2,809 votes.
City of Kingston
James Herda was elected mayor of Kingston with 76 votes. The two positions on the council will soon be filled by Peter Axford, who received 57 votes, and Van Zwettler, who received 65 votes.
In Kingston Township, Supervisor Ned Root was reelected with 558 votes along with clerk, Gail Schiefelbein with 553 votes.
Voters also voted on when to hold elections. The question stated: Shall the second Tuesday in March of each year be designated as the date of the Kingston Township general election?
There question passed with 506 votes for it and 89 against it.
Meeker County Board will see a complete turnover in the coming year, as all of the incumbents in the race have been defeated.
The seat in District 2 resulted in a tie between incumbent Dave Gabrielson and Dale Fenrich, both receiving 1,069. However, after reviewing and verifying the results, a discrepancy was detected in Litchfield Township between the number of ballots cast and the signatures on the roster, according to a press release Friday from County Attorney Stephanie Beckman. Therefore, the results determined Gabrielson had one less vote, putting Fenrich in the lead, 1,069 to 1,068.
The canvass board approved the votes Friday and if he so chooses, Gabrielson may call for a recount.
In District 1, Beth Oberg was elected, taking over Jim Swenson’s seat. Oberg received 1,253 votes, while Swenson received 1,077.
Collinwood Township resident Tim Benoit was defeated in District 3 by Bryan Larson. Larson received 1,330 votes, while Benoit received 1,145 votes.
Kingston Township resident Mike Housman received the most votes in District 4 with 1,490, defeating incumbent Wally Strand, who had 880 votes.
In the newly formed District 5, Mike Huberty won the seat with 1,644 over Ben Smith, who received 327 votes.
In Wright County, all but one commissioner seat has changed following Tuesday’s election.
In District 1, Christine Husom was elected with 6,800, while her contender, Fred Naaktgeboren had 5,477 votes.
In District 2, incumbent Pat Sawatzke led the way with 7,282 votes, and Rose Thelen received 6,256 votes.
In District 3, Mark Daleiden was elected with 5,383 votes, and Tom Darkenwald received 3,516 votes.
Mike Potter led the way in District 4 with 5,083, while his contender, Mary Wetter, had 4,585 votes.
In District 5, Charlie Borrell took the seat of Dick Mattson with 5,779 votes, while contender Leonard Wozniak received 5,474 votes.
State and federal races
When it comes to the state and federal races for the Dassel-Cokato area offices remain the same following Tuesday’s election.
In State Senate District 18, Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) regained his seat with 11,475 votes. Steven Schiroo (DFL-Cokato) received 8,313 votes.
State Representative Dean Urdahl (R-Acton Township) also regained his seat in District 18B with 11,742 votes. Dassel resident Nancy Larson (DFL) received 8,372.
In newly formed Senate District 29, Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo) led the way with 12,749 votes, while his contender, Brian Doran (DFL-Monticello), received 8,067 votes.
Joe McDonald (R-Delano) is the new state representative in District 29A with 12,968. Susann Dye (DFL-Franklin Township) ran against McDonald and received 7,913 votes.
On the federal level, incumbent Amy Klobuchar (DFL) took the race with 207,408 votes. Republican Kurt Bills had 131,525 votes on his behalf, and Independent candidate Stephen Williams received 9,777.
Michele Bachmann (R) was voted in for two more years in as US Representative in District 6. Bachmann received 179,202 votes and her DFL opponent, Jim Graves, received 174,904 votes.
Collin Peterson (DFL) will also receive two more years as US Representative in District 7. Peterson led the way with 197,798 votes, while his Republican opponent, Lee Byberg received 114,163 votes, and Independent candidate Adam Steele received 15,301 votes.