In local elections yesterday, Republican Jeff Backer was re-elected to his State Representative District 12A seat with 62 percent of the vote. His opponent Murray Smart received 38 percent of the vote. In District 12B, Republican Paul Anderson was re-elected with 71 percent of the vote, his opponent Ben Schirmers got 29 percent.
In Stevens County, Neil Wiese took the County Commissioner District 5 race with nearly 50 percent of the vote, edging out the deceased Phil Gausman, who received just under 37 percent. Write-in candidate Jamie Solvie got close to 14 percent. Jeanne Ennen easily won re-election to her unopposed District 2 Commissioner seat.
Stephanie Buss defeated Craig Swenson for County Auditor/Treasurer with 65 percent of the vote. Easily winning unopposed races were County Attorney Aaron Jordan, County Sheriff Jason Dingman and County Recorder Nichole Olson Mahoney.
In Pope County, Stephanie Rust handily defeated Jim Thoreen with 83 percent of the vote. Larry Kittelson won the District 1 Commissioner seat; Larry Lindor took the District 4 Commissioner seat; and Cody Rogahn won the District 5 Commissioner seat. Winning unopposed seats were Sarah Pavek for County Recorder, Tim Riley for County Sheriff, and Neil Nelson for County Attorney.
In Big Stone County, a special election for District 5 Commissioner saw Erick Klepel defeating Jeff Klages with 58 percent of the vote. In unopposed races, Jay Backer in District 1 and Roger Sandberg in District 4 won their Commissioner races. For County Sheriff, Mark Brown defeated Joshua Bohlen with 62 percent. In unopposed contests, Michelle Knutson was elected County Auditor, Cindy Nelson for County Treasurer, Elaine Martig for County Recorder, and Joe Glasrud for County Attorney.
Out in Grant County, Dwight Walvatne defeated Paul Jennen for District 2 Commissioner with 63 percent. Bill LaValley was unopposed in his victory for District 4 Commissioner. Amanda Hollihan won the County Treasurer’s race with 56 percent, defeating Jamie Bendmoen. Chan Van Santen took the unopposed Auditor post. For County Sheriff, Mark Haberer defeated Troy Langlie with 60 percent. Diann Giese was elected Recorder, and Justin Anderson won his Attorney post.
In Swift County, all the contests were unopposed. Edward Pederson took the District 2 Commissioner seat, Joe Fox the District 4 Commissioner seat, Ron Vadnais won for Treasurer, John Holtz for Sheriff, and Danielle Olson for Attorney.
In Traverse County, the only contests that had opposed contests were for Soil and Water Supervisor, where David Rinke defeated Curt Gillespie in District 3, and Chester Raguse defeated Alan Bruce in District 5. Otherwise, easy winners were Todd Johnson for District 1 Commissioner, Mark Gail for District 3 Commissioner, Thomas Monson for District 5 Commissioner, Kit Johnson for County Auditor/Treasurer, LeAnn Peyton for Recorder, Trevor Wright for Sheriff, and Matthew Franzese for Attorney.