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2 Alexandria School Board races are down to 4 candidates

Lommen will face Reilly for position 3 and Knudsen and Susag will go against each other for position 4.

Election 2022 in United States
Ballots were brought to the Douglas County Courthouse Aug. 9 after the primary election The City of Nelson was the first precinct to report followed by Brandon Township.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA — As a grandmother, Lynne Lommen says she wants to do all she can to serve the next generation. And come this November, she is hoping to do just that by being elected to serve on the Alexandria School Board.

And she is now one step closer as she was one of two top vote-getters in the Tuesday, Aug. 9 primary election.

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Lynne Lommen

“I was touched in my heart by the number of votes I received,” Lommen said. “It confirms that I am on the right path.”

She added that she wants to work together by having healthy discussions and debates without demonizing each other.

“We need to break the divide to better teach our children,” she said, adding that there are several issues she would like to work on, including those she included in her ads that have been running in the Echo Press. Issues, according to the ad, include accountability in schools, freedom of speech and thought for everyone, education not indoctrination, and better support for homeless students among several more.

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The Echo Press sent out questionnaires to the candidates that are running in the Aug. 9 primary election.

Lommen will face Shawn Reilly in November’s election for position 3 on the school board. The position is currently held by long-time school board member, Dean Anderson, who did not file for re-election.

Reilly said he was very excited and appreciative of all the support he has received thus far and is looking forward to the next steps.

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Shawn Reilly

“I am happy and thankful to everyone,” he said. “And so far, I have had good feedback.”

Reilly said the issues he wants to work on are the ones he listed in a previous Echo Press article, including student mental health needs, school safety and preventing bullying, future programming and staffing, full funding of required special education initiatives and teacher retention and compensation.

He also looks forward to talking about the school district with other candidates in a civil and respectful manner.

Douglas County voters bucked the trend in Senate District 9.

“I was hoping for these results (from the primary election),” said Reilly, adding again how much he appreciates those who voted for him and all the support he has and will be receiving.

Laura Knudsen said she was pleased with the results of the primary election and grateful to see her hard work paid off.

“I wasn’t surprised by the results and know that Lynne Lommen and I will be great partners on the school board,” said Knudsen.

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Laura Knudsen

As she moves toward the November election, Knudsen said she will be focusing on her top three concerns, which include ensuring that children receive a high-quality education; that students have a safe environment and that their physical safety and mental health needs are being taken care of; and that the district is preserving parents' rights.

According to her website, Knudsen for Kids, she said that in the last two years, the school district has made decisions that go against the wishes of the majority of parents and that it is “not acceptable.”

Knudsen will be running against Sandy Susag for position 4. Susag was elected to the school in 2011 and has been serving in position 4 since that time.

Dennis Conn's name will still be on the ballot but he said he's decided not to run for the office. The two other candidates for the position, Sandy Susag and Laura Knudsen, respond to Echo Press questionnaire.

“I’m grateful for all of the people who took the time to vote and exercised that right,” said Susag. “It is important and I am thankful and so very grateful for the support. I am hoping it continues as I am ready, willing and able to dedicate the time to the school board.”

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Sandy Susag

She wants to continue working on making sure Alexandria Public Schools will maintain a high degree of excellent education for its students. And she wants to make sure students — each and every one — feel valued and are able to reach their highest potential.

“We care about our students and want them to feel safe,” she said.

Susag said Reilly, Alan Zeithamer (current board member who will also be on the ballot this November) and herself will have a booth at the Douglas County Fair next week and she's looking forward to talking with community members.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects lead and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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