By Ivan Raconteur
WRIGHT COUNTY, MEEKER COUNTY, MN Although Minnesota’s voter turnout for Tuesday’s election was lower than recent years, it still remains among the highest in the country.
Preliminary results suggest 74 percent of eligible voters in Minnesota cast ballots, compared to about 55 percent nationally.
Minnesota’s voter turnout was 76 percent in 2012, and 78 percent in 2008.
Locally, turnout exceeded the state and national average.
The City of Dassel experienced a 92 percent voter turnout according to City Clerk/Treasurer Terri Boise.
Notable this year was the number of voters placing absentee ballots. This was the first election since state law was changed to allow any voter to vote via absentee ballot. An estimated 20 percent of eligible voters chose that method.
Statewide, the DFL pairing of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine received a slight edge in the presidential race, receiving 1,364,061 votes, compared to the 1,321,118 received by Republicans Donald Trump and Michael Pence, a difference of 46.41 percent to 44.95 percent of the vote.
Locally, however, the picture was much different.
In McLeod County, Trump received 12,155 votes to Clinton’s 4,980 (64.62 percent to 26.48 percent).
In Wright County, Trump received 43,274 votes to Clinton’s 20,336 (62.16 percent to 29.21 percent).
Voters in Carver County cast 29,063 ballots for Trump and 21,514 for Clinton (52.17 percent to 38.62 percent).
Meeker County favored Trump with 8,104 votes to Clinton’s 3,192 (65.97 percent to 25.98 percent).
None of the presidential candidates from other parties received more than 5 percent of the votes in local counties.
A constitutional amendment to remove lawmakers’ power to set their own pay was approved 76.64 percent statewide.
Local counties followed that trend, approving the question by 78.08 percent in Carver County; 76.28 percent in McLeod County; 77.56 percent in Wright County; and 76.74 percent in Meeker County.
US 6th Dist.
US Rep. Tom Emmer (R) defeated challenger David Snyder (DFL) 235,531 votes to 123,122 (65.57 percent to 34.28 percent).
US 7th Dist.
US Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL) defeated Dave Hughes (R) 173,570 votes to 156,949 (52.47 percent to 47.44).
Senate Dist. 18
Incumbent Scott Newman (R) defeated Amy Wilde (DFL) 26,343 to 13,150 (66.64 percent to 33.26).
Senate Dist. 29
Incumbent Bruce Anderson (R) defeated Janice Holter Kittock 27,249 votes to 13,992 (66 percent to 33.89).
Senate Dist. 47
Scott Jensen (R) defeated Darryl Scarborough (DFL) 30,929 to 14,983 (67.3 percent to 32.6).
House Dist. 18A
Incumbent Dean Urdahl (R) ran unopposed and was re-elected with 17,790 votes (97.81 percent).
House Dist. 18B
State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R) defeated Darrel Mosel (DFL) 13,167 votes to 6,229 (67.8 percent to 32.08).
House Dist. 29A
Incumbent Joe McDonald (R) defeated Cortney Phillips (DFL) 14,916 to 6,482 (69.62 percent to 30.26).
House Dist. 47A
Incumbent Jim Nash (R) defeated Sean White (DFL) 16,703 votes to 6,632 (71.5 percent to 28.39).
Incumbent District 5 Wright County Commissioner Charlie Borrell defeated challenger Jason Franzen 6,934 votes to 5,238 (56.77 percent to 42.88 percent).
Incumbent District 4 Meeker County Commissioner earned another term, defeating challenger Greg Nelson 1,367 votes to 1,005 (57.63 percent to 42.37 percent).
DC School Board
Six candidates ran for seats on the Dassel-Cokato School Board.
Dave Sangren (2,774; 22.65 percent), Shane Colberg (2,418; 19.96 percent), and Irene Bender (2,324; 19.18 percent) were elected. Andrew Engh (2,190; 18.08 percent) Corynn Flood (1,627; 10.46 percent), and Mindy Stoll (1,125; 9.29 percent) missed the cut.
Council Member Ronald Hungerford defeated Bob Lalone for the mayor seat 442 to 225 (65.48 percent to 33.33 percent).
Incumbent Council Member Sharon Asplin was re-elected to another four-year term with 506 votes (52.82 percent). Andrew “Drew” Carlson was also elected to the city council for a four-year term with 446 votes (46.56 percent).
Justin Bemenderfer was elected to a two-year council seat with 599 votes (98.68 percent).
Cokato voters were asked to consider Ballot question 1: Issuing Bonds for Construction of Cokato Fire and Ambulance Station
Shall the City of Cokato be authorized to issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,900,000 to provide funds to finance the acquisition, construction, and equipping of a new facility to be named the “Cokato Fire & Ambulance Station” which will house the City’s fire department and ambulance services?
The question passed with 1,042 “yes” votes to 270 “no” votes (79.42 percent to 20.58 percent).
Mayor Gordy Erickson received 1,092 votes (96.98 percent) qualifying him for another term. Council members Forrest “Butch” Amundsen (890 votes, 49.55 percent) and Carl Harju (876 votes, 48.78 percent) each earned new 4-year terms.
Mayor Josh Johnson received 157 votes (93.45 percent) to earn re-election
Council Member Sarah Kotila received 132 votes (50.38 percent) and Tom Beckman received 129 votes (49.24 percent). Both were elected.
Mayor Jim Herda received 74 votes (90.24 percent), and was re-elected. Council members Peter Axford and Doug Serbus each received 44 votes (33.59 percent) and were elected. Joel Kokkonen narrowly missed the cut, receiving 41 votes (31.3 percent).
Eric Gabrielson secured Supervisor Seat A with 367 votes (99.46 percent), and Jean Willey was elected clerk with 351 votes (99.15 percent).
NOTE: All results are unofficial until certified.