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. Results have been coming in for the local races, and for the office of Mayor the city of Austin, Steve King has garnered 3,348 votes thus far, or 57.8% and Jeff Austin has 2,384 votes, or 41.1%. Oballa Oballa and Helen Jahr are looking to fill a vacant seat in Ward 1 for the Austin City Council, and Oballa currently has 1,927 votes, or 56.9% to Jahr’s 1,446 votes, or 42.7%. 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. Four candidates are seeking three open seats on the city’s Utility Board, and incumbent Kristin Johnson thus far has 3,219 votes, Thomas Baulder, another incumbent has 3,018 votes, Jay Lutz has 2,343 votes and incumbent Tyler Hulsebus has 1,990 votes.
Mower County elected offices up for election Tuesday included County Commissioner seats in Districts 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 has received 1,911 votes at last word or 89.8% to 216 votes, or 10.1% for Tim Duren, who is running a write-in campaign for the position. Incumbent Polly Glynn in District 2 leads her race against challenger Ray Tucker with 1,307 votes to Tucker’s 1,026. Rodney Moe leads the race for Soil and Water Supervisor in District 1 with 4,508 votes to Peter Mattson’s 4,227. 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 are in the mix. Two of those candidates running are vying for the two-year term of Don Fox, who retired two years into his current term. In the latest results available, Katie Ulwelling has 4,248 votes, or 62.9% and Carol McAlister has garnered 2,468 votes, or 36.5%. The seven remaining candidates are vying for three four-year terms on the board, and, at last word, Evan Sorenson has accumulated 2,838 votes, or 17.4%, Cece Kroc has 2,832 votes, or 17.4%, incumbent Don Leathers has 2,550 votes, or 15.8%, incumbent Carolyn Dube has 2,437 votes, or 14.9%, Ryan Norton has garnered 2,109 votes, or 12.9%, Varinh Van Vugt has 1,735 votes, or 10.6% and Al Eckman has 1,691 votes, or 10.4%. 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 3,752 yes votes, or 52% to 3,468 no votes, or 36.5%. 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, Republican incumbent Jim Hagedorn will retain his seat as he had 174,356 votes, or 48.7%, and Democratic challenger Dan Feehan had 162,614 votes at last word, or 45.4%. In the race for Senate District 27, Republican challenger Gene Dornink had, at last word, garnered 15,712 votes, or 50.1% to Democratic incumbent Dan Sparks’ 13,417 votes, or 42.8%. The challenger also had the lead in the race for State Representative in District 27B as Republican Patricia Mueller had 6,204 votes, or 54.3% to Democratic incumbent Jeanne Poppe’s 5,189 votes, or 45.4%. In House District 27A, Republican incumbent Peggy Bennett won her re-election bid with 12,586 votes, or 62.7% to Democratic challenger Thomas Martinez’s 7,452 votes, or 37.1%.