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11/15/2006 – News

Volume 123, Number 41             Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Two new commissioners; new sheriff; new legislators
Benson County will have two new commissioners and a new sheriff following voting November 7.

Of the three commissioners running for re-election, only Curtis Hvinden of Maddock survived by besting his opponent John Buckmier of Minnewaukan 885 to 839.

Michael Steffan of St. Michael received 975 votes to become the 5th District commissioner, succeeding Barry Cox of Warwick, who received 767 votes.

Lowell Haagenson of Leeds received 1,124 votes to become the 1st District commissioner, replacing Ed Ripplinger of Leeds, who received 643 votes.

Steve Rohrer of Minnewaukan was elected Benson County Sheriff, receiving 1,071 votes to 705 votes for his opponent, Jeff Bercier.

Rohrer will replace longtime Sheriff Ned Mitzel, who is retiring.

Bercier is a deputy sheriff.

The canvassing board met November 13 and certified the official vote totals, which are used in this article.

All other county officials were unopposed. Benson County Auditor-Treasurer Bonnie Erickson received 1,683 votes, State’s Attorney James Wang received 1,444, County Recorder Doris Randle received 1,644, Clerk of District Court Lana Johnson received 1,622, Soil Conservation Supervisor Rolf Berg received 1,567, Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Director David Johnson received 1,566 and the Benson County Farmers Press received 1,696 votes for official newspaper.

Although he was not running for the position, Mike Steffan of St.

Michael received 82 votes for state’s attorney.

There will be two new state legislators representing District 23, which includes the eastern portion of Benson County (see table).

Democrat Joan Heckaman of New Rockford was elected state senator over her Republican opponent Preston Meyer of New Rockford. She will replace Mike Every (D-Minnewaukan) who did not run for re-election.

Democrat Ben Vig of Aneta received 33 more votes than veteran Republican State Representative Bill Devlin of Finley. The other state representative in this district is Don Vigesaa of Coopers-town.

Incumbents were re-elected in District 7, which includes the western portion of Benson County. They are Sen. Ryan Taylor (D- Towner), Rep. Arlo Schmidt (D-Maddock) and Rep. Jon Nelson (R-Wolford).

Oberon native Lois Delmore (D-Grand Forks) was re-elected to the house in District 43. She was the high vote-getter in the district house race.

Republicans continue to control the state senate 26-21 and the state house 61-33.

In the statewide races, all incumbents were re-elected. US Senator Kent Conrad (D) garnered 68% of the vote statewide. In Benson County he did even better by receiving 79% of the vote. Conrad received

1,464 to 338 for his opponent Republican Dwight Grotberg. There were 42 votes for other candidates.

Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D) received 66% of the vote statewide. He also did better in Benson County, receiving 77% of the vote. Pomeroy received 1,424 votes to 420 for his opponent Republican Matt Mechtel.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) was re-elected with 54% of the vote statewide. Benson County went for his Democrat opponent Kristin Hedger by 1,112 to 703.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R) was re-elected with 69% of the vote statewide. Stenehjem also carried Benson County with 950 votes, while his opponent, Democrat Bill Brudvik received 876.

Commissioner of Agriculture Roger Johnson (D) was re-elected with 56% of the vote statewide. He did much better in Benson County, receiving 71% of the vote. The end result in Benson County was 1,299 for Johnson and 532 for his Republican opponent Doug Goehring.

Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark (R) was re-elected with 52% of the vote statewide. Benson County went for his opponent, Cheryl Bergian 65% to 35%. Clark received 623 while Bergian received 1,175.

Tax Commissioner Cory Fong (R) was elected after being appointed to the position by Gov. John Hoeven. He received 53% of the vote statewide. Benson County voters went for his Democrat opponent Brent Edison by 64% to 36%. In Benson County Edison received 1,153 and Fong received 635.

Running unopposed for judicial positions were Dale Sandstrom for the supreme court, who received 1,592 votes in Benson County; M. Richard Geiger of Grafton and John McClintock Jr. of Rugby, district judges, who received 1,521 and 1,510, respectively, in Benson County.

Benson County voters agreed with voters statewide on the three measures.

Measure No. 1 related to trust funds and their management. Statewide the measure passed 67% to 33%. Benson County voters passed the measure 65% to 35%. The vote was 1,081 to 571.

Measure No. 2 related to the taking of private property by government. Statewide the measure passed 67% to 33%. Benson County voters passed the measure by the same margin. The vote was 1,159 to 565.

Measure No. 3 failed statewide by a margin of 56% to 44%. Benson County voters also rejected the measure 52% to 48%. The vote was 911 no and 838 yes.

One less car-wrecker
Cathy Nord of Minnewaukan (center) is pictured with the nice buck she shot northwest of Minnewaukan November 13. The 5×4 rack is well-formed. This is her first buck, downed with a .243. On the left is her husband, Allan Nord and on the right is their hunting partner, John Hennager, also of Minnewaukan. Hunters are having good luck since deer are in abundance.

Students of Quarter
The Leeds School announces its Students of the First Quarter for the 2006-2007 school year. Students are selected for this honor based on their academic performance, cooperation, personal behavior, attendance, responsibility and school spirit. Left to right, back row, are sophomore Kayla Bingham, daughter of Jerry and Karen Bingham; senior Hope Keller, daughter of Raphael and Wanda Keller; and junior Lindsay Anderson, daughter of Greg and Karen Anderson.
Front row: seventh grader Kendra Leibfried, daughter of Albert and Carol Leibfried; eighth grader Logan Gunderson, son of Randy and Sue Gunderson; and freshman Brenna Stone, daughter of Kim and Kelly King.

Music students
Five students from Maddock High School were recently selected to be members of the 2006 Northwest Festival of Music choirs. Ashley Duren, daughter of Mike and Kaaren Duren, and Trish Simon, daughter of Nancy Simon, were selected to the women’s choir. Selected for the mixed choir were senior Jordan Backstrom, son of Phillip and Carol Backstrom, and juniors Paul Rice, son of John and Barb Rice, and Ethan Markestad, son of Dean and Rachel Markestad. Choir members were selected by taped audition and attended intense rehearsals Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4. A concert was presented Saturday evening in the Ann Nicole Nelson Auditorium on the campus of Minot State University. Left to right, back row, are Jordan Backstrom, Paul Rice and Ethan Markestad. In the front row are Trish Simon and Ashley Duren.

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