It was Election Day Tuesday, and voters around the area cast their ballots in a number of local races in large numbers either before or during Election Day. No results had been posted at last word for races in the city of Austin, where current city council members Steve King and Jeff Austin were vying for the position of Mayor, and Oballa Oballa and Helen Jahr were looking to fill a vacant seat in Ward 1 for the Austin City Council. Michael Postma filed for the seat in the Second Ward, which is currently being held by Steve King and incumbent Paul Fischer filed for his seat in the Third Ward. Incumbents Thomas Baulder, Tyler Hulsebus and Kristin Johnson, plus Jay Lutz filed for three open seats on the city’s Utility Board.
Mower County elected offices up for election Tuesday included County Commissioner seats in District 1 and 2, and Soil and Water Supervisors in Districts 1,2 and 5. Incumbent Tim Gabrielson in District 1 for the Mower County Board of Commissioners had received 515 votes at last word to 100 votes for Tim Duren, who was running a write-in campaign for the position. Incumbent Polly Glynn in District 2 led her race against challenger Ray Tucker with 1,307 votes to Tucker’s 1,026. Rodney Moe led the race for Soil and Water Supervisor in District 1 as he had 1,664 votes to Peter Mattson’s 1,286. Micah Peterson in District 2 and incumbent John Erickson in District 5 both ran unopposed.
There were four open seats on the Austin Public School Board in Tuesday’s election, and a total of nine candidates were in the mix. Two of those running were vying for the two-year term of Don Fox, who retired two years into his current term. In the latest results available, Katie Ulwelling had 230 votes, and Carol McAlister had garnered 139. The seven remaining candidates were vying for three four-year terms on the board, and, at last word, incumbent Don Leathers had received 167 votes, Evan Sorenson had received 147 votes, Cece Kroc had received 142 votes, incumbent Carolyn Dube had garnered 138 votes, Ryan Norton had 136 votes, Al Eckman had received 130 votes and Varinh Van Vugt had received 83 votes. The winner of the two-year seat will start their term on November 9th, while the winners of the four-year terms will start at the beginning of January 2021. Austin Public Schools had also asked voters in the district to approve an operating levy referendum that would see a raise in per student funding of $505, and, at last tally, there were 273 no votes to 127 yes. The current operating referendum level is $42.70 per student and would be adjusted to $547 per student if approved. The increased operating referendum would provide additional funding to the district to meet the needs of the educational system.
In the 1st U.S. Congressional District race, with all but one precinct reporting in, it appears Republican incumbent Jim Hagedorn will retain his seat as he had 171,132 votes, or 48.8% to Democratic challenger Dan Feehan’s 158,798 votes, or 45.3%. In the race for Senate District 27, Republican challenger Gene Dornink had, at last word, garnered 12,813 votes, or 53.1% to Democratic incumbent Dan Sparks’ 9,730 votes, or 40.3%. The challenger also had the lead in the race for State Representative in District 27B as Republican Patricia Mueller had 2,841 votes, or 67.9% to Democratic incumbent Jeanne Poppe’s 1,338 votes, or 31.9%. In House District 27A, Republican incumbent Peggy Bennett had totaled 12,555 votes, or 62.7% to Democratic challenger Thomas Martinez’s 7,443 votes, or 37.1%.