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Increased Turnout For Primary Election

By Staff | Jun 7, 2012

Palo Alto County citizens gathered outside of the County Auditor’s office at the Palo Alto County Courthouse following the closing of polls after the Primary Election on Tuesday. Voter turnout was deemed at 26 percent, a significant increase from previous Primary Elections. The unofficial results from the Tuesday, June 5, Primary Election will be canvassed by the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during their Tuesday, June 12, regular meeting. --Lori Hall photo

With a trio of contested races in Tuesday’s Primary election in Palo Alto County, voter turnout was at an increase when compared to years when uncontested races were featured.

A total of 1,616 voters were cast across the county on Tuesday, out of 6,073 registered voters, which resulted in 26.61 percent voter turnout, according to Palo Alto County Commissioner of Elections Carmen Moser. In comparison, during the 2010 Primary election, some 16.62 percent of the voters turned out to cast ballots.

The first of three contested primary contests took place on the Democratic ticket for Supervisor District 5. Candidates Sherman Hilfiker, Thomas Leonard, and Linus Solberg competed for the nomination to oppose Republican candidate Bertha Mathis in the November General Election.

When the ballots were counted Tuesday night, Linus Solberg won on the Democratic ticket with a total of 197 votes. Sherman Hilfiker received a total of 93 votes for a second place finish, and Thomas Leonard received a total of 92 votes for third place. A total of 382 votes were cast in Supervisor District 5.

By the numbers, Solberg received 51.57 percent of the vote while Hilfiker earned 24.35 percent and Leonard earned 24.08 percent of the ballots cast.

On the other side of the ballot, Bertha Mathis, Republican candidate for Supervisor District 5, received 52 votes.

Three write-in votes were submitted.

Another closely-watched race at the county level came in the primary for the office of Palo Alto County Sheriff on the Democratic side.

Lynn Schultes won the nod with 734 votes or 65.07 percent of the vote, while Todd Suhr earned 382 votes or 33.87 percent of the vote.

Twelve write-in votes were submitted on the Democratic ticket.

The Republican candidate for sheriff, Darrin Adams, ran uncontested and received 382 votes.

Sixteen write-in votes were submitted on the Republican side.

The final contested race was between Republican candidates Josh Davenport and Megan Hess for State Representative District 2. Davenport earned 259 votes or 57.43 percent of the vote, while Hess garnered 192 votes or 42.57 percent of the vote.

The Democratic challenger for State Representative for District 2 Steve Bomgaars ran uncontested and took 738 votes.

Two write-in votes were received on the Democratic side.

In the primary race for U.S. Representative District 4, Republican incumbent Steve King won 403 votes with one write-in vote counted.

Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack took home 808 votes with two write-in votes counted.

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

In Palo Alto County Supervisor District 3, Republican incumbent Ed Noonan received 70 votes, while Democratic incumbent Leo Goeders received 159 votes.

On the Republican side, one write-in vote was received; on the Democratic side, two write-in votes were received.

In Supervisor District 4, Republican incumbent Ron Graettinger received 70 votes.

A total of four write-in votes came in on the Democratic side for Supervisor District 4.

Palo Alto County Auditor Carmen Moser, who is running unopposed on the Republican ticket, received 418 votes, while 28 write-in votes were submitted on the Democratic ticket.