DELANO, MAPLE PLAIN, MONTROSE, LORETTO, MN Election workers were burning the midnight oil in Delano as election season wound down in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
When all was said and done, Delano Mayor Graunke retained his position with 1,702 votes, compared to 449 for Dan Gustafson; newcomer Jason Franzen was elected to Delano City Council with 912 votes; and Holly Schrupp received 818 votes to return to the council after a two-year hiatus. Former Councilman Larry Bartels came up 50 votes shy with 768, incumbent Dan Vick garnered 640 votes, Sara Beamish received 413 votes, Elijah Sinkel followed with 326 votes and Ron Drake who was not seeking votes but remained on the ballot received 107 votes.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected abolishing the City of Delano Water, Light and Power Commission, with 1,593, or more than 72 percent, opposing the ballot question, while only 611 supported it. Had the ballot question passed, the Delano City Council would have become accountable for Delano Municipal Utilities.
Newcomer Julie Maas-Kusske claimed a seat on the Maple Plain City Council with 448 votes and Michael DeLuca retained his seat with 346 votes.
Jerry Young lost his seat with 257 votes. He had been serving as acting mayor after Mayor Roger Hackbarth was censured following complaints about anger and harassment.
Prior to the election, the Maple Plain City Council determined that Hackbarth had abandoned office after not participating in council activities for three months, according to the Long Lake Laker and Pioneer. The city council is expected to appoint a new mayor following the election.
Mayor Roy Henry, who was appointed to the office in 2013, received 232 votes and was unable to keep the position. Greg Youmans (283 votes) nudged out Michelle Otto (250 votes) followed by Ben Kuehl.
Six vied for two seats on the Montrose City Council, with Melissa Gudvangen (375 votes) and Jillayne Menard (357 votes) claiming them. John Peterson (272 votes), Bru Ploog (242 votes), Armando Hernandez (224) and Robert “Kirby” Moynagh rounded out the field.
Sheriff Joe Haggerty was challenged by Stacy Braun. Hagerty took 25,652 votes (about 67.6 percent), compared to Braun’s 12,208 votes (about 32.2 percent).
Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly was unchallenged and received 30,432 of 30,672 votes.
Wright County Auditory/Treasurer Robert Hiivala was alone on the ballot for the position and took 31,071 of 31,299 votes.
Uncontested local races
Candidates for the Delano School Board, and those running for office in Loretto, did so without challengers.
Incumbents Mark Larson (2,556 votes), Carolyn Milano (2,519 votes), Corey Black (2,485 votes) and Lisa Seguin (2,393 votes) will continue serving on the school board. Eighty-nine voters wrote in other options.
Loretto Mayor Kent Koch received 228 of 238 votes. John “Archie” Neumann (175 votes) and Brenda Daniels (168 votes) officially claimed seats on the council.
Representing Delano at the state and federal levels
Michele Bachmann’s decision to not run for re-election in the US Representative District 6 left the door open for fellow Republican Tom Emmer, of Delano, and he walked through it easily.
He received 133,324 votes (about 56.3 percent), followed by DFL candidate Joe Perske at 90,921 votes (about 38.4 percent) and Independence Party candidate John Denney at 12,459 votes (about 5.3 percent).
State Rep. Joe McDonald (R-Delano) was not facing any challengers in District 29A. He made his re-election official with 11,839 votes versus 391 write-in votes.