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Tim Kalina, Shane Schmidt emerge as winners for seats on the Douglas County Board

Kalina, who represents District 2, beat out his challenger, former commissioner Jim Stratton. Schmidt, who will now represent District 5, beat out incumbent Heather Larson.

County Board winners.jpg
Tim Kalina and Shane Schmidt
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DOUGLAS COUNTY — Newcomer Shane Schmidt was a little surprised he won the election and will now serve on the Douglas County Board for District 5.

“It’s hard to beat an incumbent,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is the unofficial winner in a close contest with incumbent Commissioner Heather Larson. He garnered 1,653 votes (55.38%) to Larson’s 1,325 votes (44.39%).

“Heather did nothing wrong. I didn’t run against her, I ran for the position,” he said. “I was excited that I won, but I feel bad for her. But, I think I have a lot to bring to the table. I have a lot to offer.”

Prior to taking over the seat in January, Schmidt said he now plans on attending meetings. He said he realizes that things in the county move slowly and that he knows he won’t be going in and making a lot of changes. However, he hopes to have some influence.

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He said there isn’t anything bad or good that he wants to change, but that, “We’ll take a look at some things.”

In the other race for a seat on the county board, District 2, incumbent Douglas County Commissioner Tim Kalina held off a challenge from a former commissioner, Jim Stratton, according to unofficial election totals.

Kalina took 2,355 votes (65.38%) to Stratton’s 1,236 votes (34.31%).

When asked what his thoughts were about the results, Kalina said, “I felt relieved and glad it was over. And I was happy that I won.”

With redistricting, Kalina said he wasn’t sure how the vote was going to go. He said that he thought losing certain townships and cities would have made a bigger impact than they did. “I really felt it could go either way,” he said.

At the end of this year, Kalina will have four years under his belt as a county commissioner and said he looks forward to another four years.

He said he wants to hopefully keep doing what he’s been doing and to also keep the budget in check. The county is lucky, he said, that most of the bonds are done and that county is sitting good right now with the low interest bonds it received. He called it, “fantastic,” and that had it waited, it would have cost a lot more in materials and interest.

Kalina also thanked everyone for their support and said he also hopes that in the next four years, he can keep everyone happy.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor 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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