Surprises in municipal elections

by April Scheinoha
Reporter

    Northwest Minnesota voters have spoken, letting their voices be heard in municipal elections.
    Some elections provided a few surprises. In Thief River Falls, there was a tie for the position of Ward 4 council member. In the region, there were also a few seats determined by write-in votes since no one had filed for those positions.
    The following results were unofficial as of presstime Thursday afternoon since most canvassing boards hadn’t yet met.
Argyle
    Mayor Robert Clausen was reelected in Argyle with 195 votes to Dan Sjostrand’s 165 votes. Two council seats were on the ballot. Elected were Aaron Rivard (239 votes) and incumbent Anthony Deschene (216 votes). Incumbent Terry Sundby was the other candidate with 201 votes. All seats have a four-year term.
Badger
    None of the candidates faced opposition in Badger. Mayor Jim Rinde was reelected for another two years with 181 votes. Bethany Sandwick and incumbent Tommy Dann were elected with 151 and 148 votes, respectively. Council members serve for four years.
Brooks
    All three incumbents ran unopposed in Brooks. Reelected were Mayor Ernest Kolling (53 votes) and council members Perry Morinville (52 votes) and Ray Vasend (44 votes). The mayor serves for two years whereas the council members serve for four years.
Erskine
    Incumbent Andy Shimpa and Brian Stuhaug were elected to the two four-year council seats on the ballot in Erskine. Shimpa received 141 votes, and Stuhaug received 136 votes. Michelle Johnson was elected to the two-year council seat with 162 votes.
Goodridge
    David Brown was reelected mayor in Goodridge with 30 votes. He was opposed by Manuel Byrd, who had 17 votes. Incumbent Faye Wold and Morris Sampson were the top vote-getters for the council positions on the ballot with 27 and 26 votes, respectively. Other candidates included incumbent Gary Hasby (21 votes) and Irvin Hamm (eight votes). The mayor serves for two years, and council members serve for four years.
Greenbush
    Brenda Sather received 301 votes to become the mayor of Greenbush. She will serve for two years. Incumbent Dennis Filer and Eric Etherington were elected to the council with 293 and 226 votes, respectively. They will serve for four years.
Grygla
    Incumbents faced no opposition in Grygla. Richard Mosher was reelected to the two-year mayoral position in Grygla with 64 votes. Also elected were council members David Dunrud (64 votes) and Robert Thompson (59 votes). They will serve for four years. Lindsay Oslund was elected to the two-year council seat with 74 votes.
Gully
    Cathy Bergerson was reelected mayor of Gully with 21 votes. Donna Marshall and incumbent Jim Sundrud were elected to the council with 19 and 18 votes, respectively.
Hallock
    David Treumer was elected mayor of Hallock with 370 votes. Other candidates included Michael Totleben (129 votes) and Thomas Lanctot (15 votes). Incumbent Kevin Waller and Brad Williams were elected to the council with 467 and 179 votes, respectively. All seats have four-year terms.
Holt
    Chris Rux defeated incumbent Dale A. Johnson to serve as mayor of Holt for two years. Rux had 23 votes, and Johnson had 18 votes. Incumbent Harvey Fisher was reelected to the four-year council seat with 37 votes. DelRay Rux was elected to the two-year council seat with 35 votes. Incumbent Jenny Lee was reelected to the clerk position with 40 votes.
Karlstad
    Michael Wade and George Hultgren won the two council seats on the ballot with 211 and 191 votes, respectively. Other candidates included Mitch Borneman (122 votes) and Peter Knapp (119 votes).
Kennedy
    Incumbent Cindy Urbaniak and Jonathan Pietruszewski were elected to the four-year council seats in Kennedy with 94 and 75 seats, respectively. Matthew Casper was elected with 66 votes for the other seat, which has two years left in its term. The other candidate was Josh Pietruszewski, who had 34 votes.
Lake Bronson
    Evan Veer was elected Lake Bronson mayor with 69 votes. Incumbent Jerry Vanderlinde and Leana Kowaliuk were elected with 78 and 36 votes, respectively. Verlene Hill was elected in the special election for a council seat with 70 votes.
Lancaster
    Mike Olson was reelected Lancaster mayor with 175 votes. Also reelected were council members Luke Nordin and Jim Hilman with 171 and 160 votes, respectively.
McIntosh
    Mayor Toby Strom was reelected McIntosh mayor with 247 votes. No one filed for the two council positions on the ballot. Kevin Subbert and Michael Pearce had the most write-in votes with 19 and seven, respectively. Subbert accepted one seat whereas Pearce has declined the other. The city office planned to contact the next top write-in vote-getters until someone accepts the other position.
Mentor
    Mayor Lonnie Morberg was reelected for another two years in Mentor with 68 votes. Elected to the council were Natalie Boushee with 51 votes and incumbent Herbert Hiltabrand with 48 votes. Council members serve for four years.
Middle River
    Mark Stromsodt was elected mayor of Middle River with 149 votes. John Scheff Sr. and Thomas Super were elected to the council with 127 and 126 votes, respectively.
Newfolden
    All three incumbents were unopposed in Newfolden. Mayor Lori Warne had 163 votes for another two-year term. Council members Mark Augustine and Melanie Sorenson had 147 and 141 votes, respectively, for four-year terms.
Oklee
    George Burthwick was reelected Oklee mayor with 102 votes. Alan Jensen had 43 votes. Two council seats were also on the ballot. Top vote-getters were Paul Cyr (74 votes) and Matthew Genova (69 votes). Other candidates included Gloria Moose (47 votes), Kyle Dudycha (45 votes), Jacqueline Cross (29 votes) and JoAnn Hamm (22 votes).
Plummer
    All of the incumbents were unopposed in Plummer. Mayor Jim DuChamp received 95 votes to serve another two years. Council members Thomas Braaten and Brent Hemly had 95 and 81 votes, respectively, to serve another four years.
Red Lake Falls
    No one filed for the mayor or the council member at large positions in Red Lake Falls. Al Bertilrud had the most write-in votes with 317 for mayor. Justin Carriere had the most write-in votes with 75 for the council member at large position. They will have the opportunity to decide whether they wish to serve. Incumbents Neil Knaack (Ward 2) and Cheryl Matzke (Ward 3) had no opposition. Knaack received 176 votes, and Matzke had 153 votes. The mayor serves for two years, and council members serve for four years.
Roseau
    All of the candidates were unopposed in Roseau. Mayor Jeff Pelowski was reelected with 1,161 votes. Council members Jane Evans and Patrick Novacek were reelected with 1,013 and 898 votes, respectively. Don Ross was elected in a special election with 1,153 votes.
St. Hilaire
    All of the incumbents were unopposed in St. Hilaire. Mayor Brandon Kisch was reelected for another two years with 112 votes. Council members Tracy Kloety and Bernard Huot were reelected with 104 and 92 votes, respectively, for another four years.
Stephen
    Mayor Richard Lee was reelected in Stephen with 341 votes. Two council positions were also on the ballot. The winners were Paige Halfmann and Daniel Douglas with 247 and 170 votes, respectively. The other candidate was Whitney Weisenberger with 122 votes.
Strandquist
    Jared Lemoine was the only person who filed for Strandquist mayor. He received five votes; however, Lowell Lefrooth had 30 votes. John Ombler Jr. was elected to the council with 18 votes, and Jessica Grochowski was elected city clerk with 32 votes.
Strathcona
    No one filed for the two council positions on the ballot in Strathcona. Vicky Lorenson and Mark Ryden had the most write-in votes with 12 and nine, respectively.
Thief River Falls
    Thief River Falls Mayor Brian Holmer was reelected to a two-year term with 3,306 votes. Incumbent Don Sollom was reelected with 342 votes to Dian Wilde’s 303 votes. Ward 4 incumbent Jerald Brown and opponent Justen Lee were tied with 301 votes. There were five write-in votes for the seat. City Finance Director Angie Philipp said the council will canvass the results at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 15. After that time, the candidates may request a recount at no cost to the candidates. In city elections, there isn’t an automatic recount. If there were still a tie after a recount, there would be a coin toss. The candidates may decide whether they want a series of three or five tosses. Jason Aarestad was elected to the council member at large position with 1,675 votes. Other candidates included Jim Strandlie (who was appointed to the position earlier this year) with 1,182 votes, Joe Pueringer with 261 votes and James Sceville with 219 votes. The mayor serves for two years, and council members serve for four years.
Viking
    All of the incumbents were unopposed in Viking. Mayor Michael Hestekind had 34 votes for the two-year position. Council members Arnold Weleski and Dennis Barclay had 36 and 28 votes, respectively. Council members serve for four years.
Warren
    No one filed for mayor in Warren. David Erickson launched a write-in campaign, receiving 241 write-in votes. Elected to the council seats were incumbent Jarod Peterson (645 votes), incumbent Mark Wimpfheimer (629 votes) and Chris Desrosier (573 votes). Voters also voted 718 to 50 to change the city charter to have the mayor serve a four-year term instead of a two-year term, starting with the 2018 election.
Warroad
    None of the incumbents faced opposition in Warroad. Mayor Bob Marvin had 668 votes. Council members Michele Vandal and Dick Soderberg had 528 and 517 votes, respectively. The mayor serves two years, and council members serve four years.
Winger
    All of the incumbents were unopposed in Winger. Mayor Darrell “Ole” Olson had 73 votes. Council members Nicholas Geray and Lori Lucken had 57 and 54 votes, respectively.