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Voter Turnout Slim For Municipal Elections

Only 15 Percent Of County’s Registered Voters Cast Ballots Tuesday

November 9, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

With mostly uncontested races in municipal elections across Palo Alto County on Tuesday, Nov. 7, only 15 percent of registered voters turned out at the polls.

According to Palo Alto County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Carmen Moser, only 429 ballots were cast across the county on Tuesday, out of 2,778 registered voters.

There were three upsets in the county, as a new mayor will lead the city of Ayrshire and new council members unseated incumbents in Mallard and Rodman.

Emmetsburg Results

There were no contested elections for the City of Emmetsburg, as the three incumbent city council members all earned re-election to their seats. In Ward One, Mike Hermansen was re-elected with 44 votes, while in Ward Three, Brian Malm was re-elected with 34 votes. Incumbent At-Large council member Brian Campbell received 137 votes, with write-in candidates receiving four votes for the at-large seat.

Graettinger Results

Incumbent candidates in Graettinger also retained their seats in the city government. Mayor Monty Schany was re-elected with 52 votes, while six votes were cast for write-in candidates.

All three incumbent council members were also re-elected. Michael Flaherty received 53 votes, while Barbara J. Hoffman and Bruce Masters both received 49 votes each.

West Bend Results

Incumbents in West Bend were also re-elected to their seats by the voters, who also had a Public Measure to decide.

Mayor Marilyn Schutz received 77 votes to earn re-election to her position, while five write-in votes were cast in the mayoral election.

For the West Bend City Council, Grant Gearhart received 85 votes and Chris Newton earned 69 votes, with one write-in vote being cast in the election.

West Bend voters gave their approval to Public Measure C, "A Change in Allocation of the 1% Local Sales &?Services Tax."

The tax is already in effect and was not a new asking. Instead, the voters were asked to vote "yes" or "no" to allow the revenues of the tax to be used for "any lawful purpose of the City of West Bend."

A total of 56 "yes" votes were cast for the Public Measure, with 30 "no" votes being cast.

Ruthven Results

A contested council election in Ruthven had five individuals running for a quartet of seats on the Ruthven City Council. Winning those seats were the incumbents. Jay Schoning received 89 votes and Mitch Anderson received 81 votes, while challenger Adam Kreutner collected 42 votes. Two votes for write-in candidates were also cast.

In the election for two council members to fill two vacancies on the council, Marcelle Simington was elected with 106 votes and Terrence J. Williams received 71 votes, with six additional write-in votes.

Ayrshire Results

Incumbent Mayor Jared Weller was unseated by write-in candidate Tyle Olson in Tuesday's elections in Ayrshire. Weller received three votes, while Olson received six write-in ballots to earn the seat.

Voters in Ayrshire re-elected incumbent council members Nick Heiman with 16 votes and Janelle Bendixen with 10 votes. A total of 16 votes out of 88 registered voters were cast in Ayrshire.

Cylinder Results

All incumbent candidates in Cylinder were un-opposed in the election and won re-election to their posts. Mayor Arnold Ce. Heng was re-elected with 20 votes, while write-in candidate Art Mueller received two votes for Mayor.

City Council member Harry Bormann was re-elected with 23 votes, while council members Cary Anderson and Kurt Bonnstetter both received 22 votes to be re-elected to their seats. Council member Deb Weisbrod was re-elected with 21 votes and Adam Kerr, the only new candidate, was elected to a council seat with 20 votes.

There are 63 registered voters in Cylinder, and 23 ballots were cast in Tuesday's election.

Mallard Results

An incumbent council member was un-seated by the voters in Mallard on Tuesday, as Karl R. Johnson lost his council seat to newcomer Andy Witta, who received 48 votes to Johnson's 33 votes. Also re-elected to their council seats were incumbents Jerome Schuller with 61 votes and Amy Thompson with 40 votes. Incumbent Mayor Jim Gehrt was re-elected with 65 votes. An additional 12 votes were cast for various write-in mayoral candidates.

Out of 178 registered voters, 87 votes were cast in Mallard.

Rodman Results

Even though Mayor Jean Hyslop did not file for re-election to her post, she won re-election as a write-in candidate for Mayor with 19 votes. An additional three votes were cast for write-ins.

Out of five incumbent city council members four were retained, with Rose Merideth earning 22 votes, Mark Besch receiving 17 votes, Danny Hutchison earning 15 votes and Sean Leners receiving 14 votes. However, incumbent Ronald Thilges was unseated by write-in candidate Georgia Elbert, as Elbert earned 15 votes while Thilges received nine votes and candidate Lynn Anthony earned seven votes.

Out of 30 voters in Rodman, 22 ballots were cast.

Curlew Results

The entire city government of Curlew had to be filled by write-ins as there were no announced candidates. John Keller received three votes for Mayor, with six votes cast for various candidates.

For city council, Tonya Wirtz was re-elected with seven votes, while incumbent Cathy Stanek received four votes, as did Brent Cooke, Wyatt Wirtz and John Keller. Robby Johnson and Rick Watts both received three votes each. The vote in Curlew will be decided by drawing lots during the official canvass of the votes by the Palo Alto County Supervisors Tuesday, Nov. 14.



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