Thalman will return to council
A familiar face will be returning to the Alexandria City Council.
Roger Thalman, who was appointed to an open council seat in 2013-2014 before losing to Bob Kuhlman, will be back in Ward 2.
He defeated Kuhlman in a tight race Tuesday, getting 522 votes to Kuhlman's 500. Thalman expected the race to be close, but not that close.
"I was ecstatic to win," he said. "I think I have some good ideas to bring to the council and know how to work with others on the council."
What shocked him, Thalman said, was the high number of absentee ballots, which accounted for more than 12 percent of the vote. He said if that many people are voting early, it could change how candidates campaign.
One factor that Thalman said may have helped put him over the top was that while door-knocking, he tried to engage residents in conversation. "I'd see a pumpkin by their door and ask them who was the artist in the family and that would lead to talking about other issues," he said.
Keeping the conversation going is a goal for Thalman. With the mayor and the council's support, he wants to have council members take turns hosting a coffee hour once a week, giving voters a chance to share their thoughts about city issues.
In addition to the coffee hours, one of Thalman's first priorities is improving the condition of city streets by issuing general obligation bonds.
Two other Alexandria City Council elections went as expected. Incumbent Dave Benson won in Ward 4, defeating Michael Sayler, who withdrew from the race too late to be removed from the ballot. Benson received 501 votes while Sayler picked up 280.
In Ward 1, newcomer Bill Franzen was running unopposed and received 1,160 votes. He'll take over for Virgil Batesole, who didn't seek re-election.
Here are the final but unofficial results of key contested council, mayor, school board and township races in the county:
Alexandria City Council Ward 2: Roger Thalman (winner) 522, Bob Kuhlman 500.
Brandon mayor: Roger Campbell (w) 172, Kevin Challes 45.
Brandon City Council (2 positions): Scott Pohlman (w) 203, Jon Dingwall (write-in) 13.
Brandon Township, Seat A: Bryan Meichsner (w) 236, Gene Fynboh 118.
Carlos City Council (2): Teresa Zwieg (w) 141, Ronna Berghoff (w) 111, Doreley Glisson 54.
Evansville mayor: Calvin Lundeen (w) 125, Monica Olson 71, Darren "Tubby" Henrichs 38.
Evansville City Council (2): Julie Aasness (w) 162, Deb Berry (w) 108, Trista Jacobson 45, Mary Thorstad 42, Jamie Okerlund 41, Richard Novotny 30.
Forada mayor: Robert Bordeaux (write-in) 16.
Garfield City Council (2): Trent Ziegelman (w) 86, Ryan Holverson (w) 56, Wanda Swenson 48.
Kensington City Council, special election: Emmy Maheux (Leverson) (w) 56, Lana Rau 51.
Miltona City Council (2): Mickey Lint (w) 87, Brian Carpenter and David Carter 85.
Miltona Township treasurer: Stephanie Stueve (write-in) 11.
Miltona Township ballot questions, should clerk be appointed?: 348 yes, 105 no.
Miltona Township ballot question, should treasurer be appointed?: 349 yes, 100 no.
Osakis mayor: Keith "Kip" Emerson (w) 365, Paul Hartmann 314.
Osakis City Council (2): Laura Backes (w) 428, Randy Anderson (w) 267, James Snyder 197, Alan Larson 170, Joseph Nathe 136.
Brandon/Evansville School Board (3): Randy Bettermann (w) 675, Diane Richter (w) 525, Jana Anderson (w) 514, Rachel Wagner 471, Jaci Stepan 469, David Berry 438, Rebecca Boesl 383, Amanda Johnson 346, Ben Rusch 315, Katherine VanderWyst 166.
Osakis School Board (3): Becky Hensley (w) 1,047, Chris George (w) 878, Greg Faber (w) 804, Chad Hagen 578, Dirk Hagedon 482, Fran Breiter 402.
Minnewaska School Board (3): Justin Zavadil (w) 2,105, Ted Reichmann (w) 2,075, Nick Gugisberg (w) 1,869, Sadie Schlief 1,756, Wes Tessman 1,427, Susan VanDyke 957, Denise Gades Dougherty 915.
Minnewaska School Board, special election: Chad Christianson (w) 1,977, Bobbi Jo Matt 1,208, Judd Kuehne 695
Parkers Prairie School Board (4): Steve Inwards (w) 865, Christy Hart (w) 798, Lyle Oeltjenbruns (w) 726, Judith Moeller (w) 693, Nancy Euteneuer 551, Sheryl Myers 398.
Parkers Prairie School District ballot question to renew referendum revenue: 813 yes, 409 no.