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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Many contested races to be decided Nov. 6

  • On November 6 locals will head to the polls and select between a number of hotly contested races ranging from city council to the President of the United States. Included within this week's paper is the Advocate Tribune's Voter's Guide, which features Q/As with local representatives running for offices from state senate on down.
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  • On November 6 locals will head to the polls and select between a number of hotly contested races ranging from city council to the President of the United States. Included within this week's paper is the Advocate Tribune's Voter's Guide, which features Q/As with local representatives running for offices from state senate on down.
    As a result of redistricting, exactly which candidates are looking to represent who is a little more confusing than in years past. It was hard enough having Granite Falls separated into two different counties, but thanks to the actions of the bi-partisan redistricting committee the riverside city is now split into legislative districts 16 and 17, too.
    Local constituents on the west side of the Minnesota River will choose between incumbent Gary Dahms, GOP-Redwood Falls, and Ted Suss, DFL-Wabasso, for Senate District 16 representation, while those on the east side of the river will choose between dual Senate incumbents (of the former Districts 13 and 21) Joe Gimse, GOP-Willmar, and Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, for district 17.
    These same lines also separate the 16A and 17A House of Representative races, which pit incumbent Chris Swedzinski, GOP-Ghent, against Al Kruse, DFL-Marshall in 16A and incumbent Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, in opposition to Tim Miller, GOP-Prinsburg, in 17A.
    Closer to home there are only seats on the Clarkfield City Council that are not contested. Mayor Gene Kockelman and incumbent councilman Dave Biermaier are running unopposed leaving two other councils seats to be filled. Scott Vold has announced that he will run as a write-in for one of those vacancies.
    According to Clarkfield Administrator Scott Weske, if no one else steps forward as a write-in, one of the current council members will remain in their seat until the council has made a temporary appointment. After that a special election would be held.
    With the Granite Falls City Council, incumbents Mayor Dave Smiglewski and At Large Councilman Scott Peterson are unopposed but three citizens are running for one of two available Ward 1 (west Granite Falls) seats. Here, Joe Fagnano and Bill Miller are looking to reprise their roles as Ward 1 representatives, although Miller is doing so as a write-in candidate––as he originally filed to run for a spot on the YMC Board and you can't do both). Newcomer write-in candidate Sarina Otaibi is looking to gain one of the two up for grab council seats.
    All four current YME School Board members with seats up for election –– Jane Hagert, Grant Velde, Tim Opdahl, and Steve Zumhofe –– are all hoping to be reelected, but one additional candidate in Mark Hoeper, is hoping that he garners enough votes to win one of the fours seats.
    In Yellow Medicine County, incumbent Greg Renneke is looking to hold off challenger Joe Rohlik in District 1 (Echo, Wood Lake) while John Berends and Mitch Brovold will vie for the right to represent west Granite Falls in the District 2 Commissioner seat, which has been vacant since the death of commissioner Dick Wambeke last winter.
    Page 2 of 2 - Finally, voters in east Granite Falls will choose between Chippewa County District 3 incumbent Dennis Anderson and his opponent Dave Nordaune.
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