Incumbents survive primaryAll three Douglas County commissioners survived Tuesday’s primary election and will appear on the ballot this fall. If Tuesday’s vote is any indication, they’ll face stiff competition from their challengers.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
All three Douglas County commissioners survived Tuesday’s primary election and will appear on the ballot this fall.
If Tuesday’s vote is any indication, they’ll face stiff competition from their challengers.
In the District 2 race, challenger James Stratton received the most votes, 315, followed by incumbent Norm Salto with 253. Jim Hafdal is out of the race after receiving 226 votes.
Stratton was pleased with the results. “I feel the voters that turned out for the primary in District 2 were making a statement. They feel it is time for a change in leadership.”
In the coming weeks before the election, Stratton said he will focus on positive ideas and suggestions that can make an impact on the county.
“Many people I have talked to expressed concern over the property tax increases,” he said. “They want to see the spending spree stopped. The concept of taking care of the needs and assessing the wants of the county must be the focus going forward.”
Why did people vote for Salto? “They know where I stand,” Salto said. “I try to do a good job for the taxpayers.”
Salto said that he will be “out seeing the people” as his campaign continues, adding that he plans to be at the fair this weekend.
District 3 incumbent Bev Bales received the most votes, 432, followed by Jerry Rapp with 318, Bert Pexsa with 161 and David Erickson with 49.
Bales and Rapp will square off in the general election on November 6.
Bales said it was gratifying and humbling to get the support from so many in the primary. “I think they know that I represent them by keeping in touch with them,” she said. “I will be at the county fair and in my district the next few weeks to visit with as many folks as I can about the issues, be they roads, lakes, permits, or whatever. I would like to continue to represent them.”
Rapp said the people who voted for him want the county board to find new ways to rein in spending. “I think people are looking for something in a different direction,” he said. “They’re not happy with how things are going with spending, which I’d describe as being out of control.”
Rapp said his campaign will stick to the message that he’s had since he filed. “I’ll keep talking to people and explain that we can do better, that we can do things differently and not go down the same road with spending and have the county balance its checkbook with our checkbook.”
In the District 4 race, challenger Charlie Meyer was the top vote-getter with 317, followed by incumbent Paul C. Anderson with 224, Bill Dropik with 196 and Don Kortie Jr. with 64.
Meyer and Anderson will be on the ballot this fall.
Meyer said he was pleasantly surprised with his strong showing. “I think everybody is ready for a little bit of a change,” he said, adding that in his view, the county has been spending money “like crazy” when it should be trying to bring taxes down.
“We need to try to shrink government, not extend it all the time,” he said.
Anderson attributed his success to the experience he’s brought to the county through his 14 years on the board and his 15 years as clerk/treasurer of Alexandria Township.
His dedication to the position is another reason voters supported him, he said.
“I can honestly say I have put into this position an average of 30 to 35 hours per week,” he said. “If elected to the position on November 6, I fully intend to take the job just as seriously as I have in the past.”
Anderson added that he will continue to work closely with the seniors in the district and “do everything in my power to reduce the size of government and continue to closely watch the budget.”
HOUSE DISTRICT 8B
A primary election also took place in Minnesota House District 8B between DFL candidates Bruce Campbell and Bob Cunniff. Cunniff won easily with 1,058 votes to Campbell’s 291, and he’ll be on the ballot against Republican Mary Franson this November.
Douglas County voters bucked statewide trends by snubbing the Republican-endorsed challenger to take on U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. They favored Republican David Carlson, giving him 48 percent of the vote compared to Bills’ 35 percent. Statewide, Bills won handily with 52 percent of the vote to Carlson’s 35 percent.
In the Independence Party U.S. Senate race, Douglas County voters also went against the rest of the state by supporting Glen Anderson Menze, giving him 51 votes to Stephen Williams’ 35. Statewide, the results were flip-flopped with Williams receiving 60 percent of the vote.
As expected, Klobuchar cruised to an easy victory in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, garnering 91 percent of the votes statewide and 88 percent of the total in Douglas County.
The two Minnesota Supreme Court races didn’t hold any surprises. Both incumbents, Lorie Skjerven Gildea and David Stras, won at the county and state level. Also advancing were Dan Griffith, who will face Skjerven Gildea, and Tim Tingelstad, who will oppose Stras on the ballot.