Voters decide leaders for communities

Area voters weighed in on Nov. 6 on a host of candidates and issues that were on their ballots. At stake were city council, mayor and school board seats, along with positions on the state legislature, county boards and in the U.S. Congress.

And operating levy questions for Rockford and Delano Public Schools attracted major attention.

Here is a summary of area election results. All of them are unofficial.



School District 879 voters approved two operating levy questions for Delano Public Schools — one for $426 per pupil and one for $325 per pupil.

The $426 levy (Question One) received 4,769 “Yes” votes (73.85 percent) and 1,689 “No” votes. The $325 levy (Question Two) got 3,628 “Yes” votes (56.33 percent) and 2,813 “No” votes. Voters needed to approve Question One in order to also approve Question Two.

The Delano School Board has said that if voters approve both questions, no jobs would be cut. Failure of both referendum questions would have resulted in the loss of as many as 18 jobs and increased class sizes. The School Board also said that two failed levy questions would have resulted in activities for Delano Middle School students being shifted to Delano Community Education with parents paying the costs. Now these activities are expected to be continued at DMS.

Question One asked voters to renew the 10 year $426 per pupil operating levy that was due to expire in June 2013. Approval of this question will result in no property tax increase. Question Two will result in a $6 per month property tax increase for each $100,000 worth of property value.

School District 879 had 16,235 voters registered as of 7 a.m., Nov. 6. The district serves Delano and Loretto and portions of Franklin Township, Independence, Greenfield and Corcoran.



Running for three 4-year terms on the Rockford School Board were incumbents Kris Abrahamson, Todd Anderson and Kathy Smith, and challengers Michael Sanders and Steven Yakesh.

The three sitting board members retained their seats with Abrahamson receiving 2,087 votes (23%). Anderson 1,989 votes (22 %), and Smith 1,670 votes (19%).

Yakesh received 1,650 votes (18.57 %), and Sanders 1,405 votes (16%). The gap between Smith and Yakesh was tight with 20 votes.




Residents of School District 883 were posed this ballot question:

Shall the school board of Independent School District No. 883 (Rockford) be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $27,000,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the renovation, repair, remodeling, upgrading, equipping and construction of improvements to various school sites, parking lots, sidewalks, athletic and activity areas, mechanical, ventilation, heating and plumbing systems, electrical systems, life safety and security systems, technology infrastructure, and building roofs, windows, doors exterior envelopes and interiors?

The question was approved with 2,970 “yes” votes (56 percent), and 2,361 “no” votes (44 percent).



School District 879 voters elected six candidates to take seats on the School Board for Delano Public Schools.

District 879 serves Delano and Loretto and portions of Franklin Township, Independence, Greenfield and Corcoran.

Three candidates were running unopposed for three School Board seats that carry four-year terms. Voters elected Amy Johnson, Randy Durick and Sarah Baker to continue on the board.

Four candidates were competing for three board seats that carry two-year terms. The three winners were incumbent Carolyn Milano with 2,810 votes (28.73 percent), newcomer Mark A. Larson with 2,469 votes (25.5 percent) and incumbent Corey Black with 2,418 votes (24.72 percent). Jonathan Ness was the losing candidate, with 2,033 votes (20.79 percent).

School District 879 had 16,235 voters registered as of 7 a.m. Nov. 6.



Newcomer Diane Lynch won a seat on the Corcoran City Council by defeating incumbent Roz Milbrandt, as Mayor Ken Guenthner won unopposed and former councilor Ron Thomas was voted back onto the council.

Thomas won the most votes for council, with 1,469, or 36 percent. Lynch secured 1,419 votes, or 37 percent, and Milbrandt had 1,151 votes, or 28 percent.



Jack Russek of Delano is retiring at the end of this year after many years of serving District 3 on the Wright County Board, and as of January 1, he will be sitting in a new chair — Delano City Council member.

Voters chose Russek and incumbent Betsy Stolfa to fill the two open seats on the Delano City Council. Five candidates competed for the two seats. Vote totals were (from most to least) 1,239 for Russek (24.73 percent), 1,225 for Stolfa (24.45 percent), 1,015 for Harlan Lewis (20.26 percent), 926 for Jon Sutherland (18.48 percent) and 583 for Dan Gustafson (11.64 percent).

Delano had 3,293 voters registered as of 7 a.m. Nov. 6.



The city of Greenfield mayoral election goes to Brad Johnson (sitting council member) with 1,132 votes and 75.02 percent of all votes cast. John Lund received 370 votes, representing 24.32 percent. There were seven write in votes. The mayoral term is two years.

Three candidates ran for two open council seats. Michael Erickson (incumbent) came in first with 824 votes and 38.02 percent of all votes cast. Mark Holton also takes a seat having received 689 votes, representing 31.8 percent of all votes cast. Chuck Alcon received 631 votes, or 29.12 percent. There were 23 write in votes cast. Council seats hold four-year terms.



Incumbent Mayor Kent Koch has defeated City Councilor Clark Lohr in the race for Mayor of Loretto.

Koch was one of the youngest candidates to be elected Mayor in Minnesota’s history when voters picked him for his first term. In his race for a second term, he garnered 320 votes (80.6 percent of the vote) compared with Lohr’s 74 votes (18.64 percent).

Four candidates were on the ballot competing for two City Council seats. Henry (Hank) Pepin was the top vote getter with 167 votes (28.69 percent). In the race for the second seat, Cari Girk squeaked out a narrow victory over former City Councilor Brenda Daniels. Girk received 148 votes, compared with Daniels’ 146 votes.

Current City Council Jeffrey France withdrew from the race but his name still was on the ballot. Despite his withdrawal, he received 118 votes (20.27 percent).

Loretto had 435 registered voters as of 7 a.m. on Election Day.



Incumbent Mayor Tom Crosby has soundly defeated two opponents in the race for the top elected official in Medina.

Crosby garnered 1,817 votes (65.67 percent of the vote) against challengers Karl Hanson and Darrell Johnson. Hanson attracted 650 votes (23.49 percent) and Johnson drew 283 votes (10.23 percent).

In the City Council race, Jim Dailey, Liz Weir and John G. Anderson were competing for two seats. Voters chose Weir with 1,747 votes (43.99 percent) and Anderson with 1,323 votes (33.32 percent). Dailey received 879 votes (22.14 percent). City Councilor Mike Siitari did not seek re-election.

Medina had 3,323 voters registered at 7 a.m. Nov. 6.



Renee Hafften (sitting councilor), running unopposed, received 1,556 votes, or 92 percent. There were 34 write in votes. The mayor’s term is four years.

Voting for two open seats on the city council resulted as follows: Rick Martinson (incumbent) with 1,028 votes (34 percent), Denise Kenasen with 815 votes (27 percent), Bill Decker with 636 votes (21 percent) and Robert (Bob) Freese with 476 votes (16 percent). Martinson returns for second four-year term, Kesanen will fill the other seat.

There were 39 write in votes.



Rep. Michele Bachmann won’t face a recount challenge from former DFL opponent Jim Graves. The Sixth District race officially ended Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, after Graves issued a concession statement and both candidates spoke briefly via telephone.

“It’s hovering right now around a 4,000-vote difference, and that’s too much,” said campaign manager Adam Graves, referring to the vote differential.

Unofficial results posted to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website shortly before noon Wednesday showed Bachmann with 181,131 votes (50.45 percent) and Graves with 175,924 votes (49.27 percent) with all 280 precincts reporting.

In this area, the Sixth District includes Delano, Rockford and Rockford Township.



Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen has won re-election in the Third U.S. Congressional District race against Democratic challenger Brian Barnes.

With all of the votes tallied Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, Paulsen won with 58 percent of the 382,715 votes cast for the race.

The Third District includes all of Hennepin County.



Republican Bruce Anderson, of Buffalo, took 60.26 percent of the vote on his way to defeating DFLer Brian Doran, of Monticello, in the election for the District 29 Minnesota Senate seat.

Anderson received 25,462 votes, compared with the 16,708 votes cast for Doran.

District 29 is a new Senate district that came into being during the redistricting process. This new district is located in eastern Wright County and includes Rockford, Delano, Montrose, Waverly, Howard Lake, Maple Lake, Annandale, Monticello and Buffalo, as well as Rockford and Franklin Townships and a number of other townships.

Senate District 29 had 45,115 registered voters as of 7 a.m. Nov. 6.



Republican Joe McDonald, of Delano, soundly defeated DFLer Susann Dye in the race for the District 29A seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives by taking 61.99 percent of the vote.

McDonald received 12,968 votes compared with Dye’s 7,913 votes. He is the incumbent in the old House District 19B. District 29A came into being during the redistricting process earlier this year. The new District 29A is located in Wright County and includes Rockford, Delano, Montrose, Waverly, Howard Lake and Annandale, as well as Rockford and Franklin Townships and a number of other townships.

District 29A had 23,686 registered voters as of 7 a.m. Nov. 6.



GOP candidate Dave Osmek, of Mound, has been elected to take over for outgoing Sen. Gen Olson of Minnetrista.

Osmek received 28,195 votes — 58.92 percent — compared to the 19,547 votes DFL candidate Judy Rogosheske received — 40.85 percent. There were also 112 write-in votes cast, accounting for the remaining .23 percent.

Minnesota Senate Dist. 33 includes Corcoran, Greenfield, Loretto, Medina, Independence and Maple Plain.



GOP candidate Jerry Hertaus of Greenfield has been elected as the new representative for Minnesota House District 33A.

Hertaus received 14,717 votes — 62.09 percent — compared to the 8,963 votes  — 37.81 percent — received by DFL candidate Todd Mikkelson. There were also 24 write-in votes cast, which accounted for the remaining — .1 percent.

Minnesota House District 33A includes Corcoran, Greenfield, Loretto, Medina and Independence.



Hennepin County District 7 Commissioner Johnson will continue serving constituents in Corcoran, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain and Medina, as well as neighboring communities.

Incumbent Johnson received 62,864 votes, which is 98.75 percent of the vote. He ran unopposed.



Charlie Borrell of Waverly won a narrow victory over Leonard Wozniak of Cokato in the race for the Wright County Board seat in the new Fifth District.

Borrell attracted 5,779 votes (49.27 percent) and Wozniak received 5,474 votes (46.67 percent).

The new Wright County Fifth District spans Franklin, Woodland, Victor, Stockholm, Cokato, Middleville, Marysville and French Lake Townships and includes the cities of Delano, Montrose, Howard Lake and Cokato.



Three Rivers Park District 1 includes Corcoran, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Medina and Rockford, as well as neighboring cities.

After all 60 precincts in District 1 reported, newcomer Penny Steele took the race with 52.12 percent of the votes cast (32,470 votes). Incumbent Sara Wyatt lost with 47.20 percent (29,405 votes), and 424 write-in votes were counted.

 — Compiled by Susan Van Cleaf, Aaron Brom and Linda Herkenhoff