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Few Contested Races Means Light Turnout For Primary Elections

By Staff | Jun 10, 2010

PRIMARY ELECTION – Palo Alto County voters went to the polls on Tuesday to participate in the Primary Election to tap Democrat and Republican candidates to compete in November’s election. Above, Ward 1 resident Ron Eichmeier checks in prior to voting at the Election Center in Emmetsburg. – Lori Hall photo

With very few contested races in Tuesday’s Primary election in Palo Alto County, voter turnout was understandably light, according to Palo Alto County Commissioner of Elections Gary Leonard. The only contested primary of a local nature in the county saw Nancy Wentzel of Emmetsburg defeat Norlyn Stowell in the Democratic primary for the District Two Supervisor’s race in November.

A total of 1,147 voters were cast across the county on Tuesday, out of 6,900 registered voters. That turnout translates into just 16.62 percent of the voters turning out to cast ballots.

The lone local contested primary contest took place on the Democratic ticket for Supervisor District Two in Emmetsburg. Candidates Nancy L. Wentzel and Norlyn Stowell competed for the nomination to oppose Republican incumbent Jerry Hofstad in the November General Election. When the ballots were counted Tuesday night, Nancy L. Wentzel received a total of 171 votes as opposed to Norlyn Stowell’s 93 votes. A total of 273 votes were cast in Supervisor District Two, out of 1,522 registered voters, or 17.9 percent. By the numbers, Wentzel received 64.77 percent of the vote while Stowell earned 35.23 percent of the ballots cast. On the other side of the ballot, incumbent Jerry Hofstad, running unopposed on the Republican ticket, received 127 votes.

Another closely-watched race at the county level came in the primary for the Republican Governor’s nomination, where former Governor Terry E. Branstad won the nod with 316 votes, while Bob Vander Plats earned 259 votes and Rod Roberts received 55 votes. 638 ballots were cast for the Republican Gubernatorial candidates, out of 6,900 eligible voters.

In the various county positions up for election, no other party contests occurred. The real decisions will come in November for the General Election.

In Supervisor District One, Republican incumbent Keith Wirtz received 156 votes, with no opponent. In Supervisor District Three, Republican incumbent Ed Noonan received 79 votes, while Democrat Jim Neighbors received 35 votes.

Incumbent County Treasurer Mary Kunz. Hilfiker, running unopposed on the Democratic ticket, received 446 votes, while County Recorder Bonnie Whitney, running unopposed on the Democratic ticket, received 447 votes.

Incumbent Palo Alto County Attorney Peter C. Hart, the Democratic candidate, earned 390 votes, while Republican candidate Lyssa Henderson, earned 391 votes.

In the Iowa House of Representatives District 7 primary, Republican Candidate Lannie Miller received 514 votes, while Democratic Candidate John Wittneben received 321 votes in the primary.