Locals get out and vote

Chuck Wickenhofer
Voters from around the region are turning out Tuesday to vote during the primary season. The hotly tested governor's race on the Republican side between Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and businessman Doug Burgum will be decided today, along with a corporate farming measure. Locally, two seats on the City Commission and three seats on the Ramsey County Commission are up for grabs, and two of four District I judicial candidates will move on to face off head to head.

Primary voting got underway Tuesday, as many local races are hotly contested this season.

The race for governor on the Republican side will likely determine the overall winner, and local voters will help determine the outcome of both statewide ballot issues and races closer to home.

Devils Lake resident Sibyl Dannenberg says that she is most interested in determining the next governor and having her say on the corporate farming bill.

“I’m interested in the governorship primary and the measure on farming,” Dannenberg said.

Though Dannenberg didn’t reveal her vote for governor, she shared her thoughts on the farming bill. In 2015, a law was passed that rescinded the anti-corporate farming law that dates back to 1932. This vote will determine whether or not last year’s legislation will stand.

“I voted no,” Dannenberg said. “I hate to take away from small individuals, small businesses, and turn it over to a corporation that maybe doesn’t have any interest other than financial in the state.”

Amber Moen, also of Devils Lake, reports that she is more interested in the race to fill slots on the Ramsey County Commission.

“I know there’s a lot of options open right now, especially (in) Ramsey County,” Moen said. “I’m interested to see what they’re going to do, if they’re going to make any big changes.”

Six contenders are vying for the three available seats, though only five are on the ballot.

The City Commission race features incumbents Tim Heisler and Dale Robbins and challengers Mark Motis and Ben Sander for the two seats up for grabs.

15-year Devils Lake resident Theresa Deckert reports that she is perhaps most interested in the race for District I judge, which features four candidates, three of whom are state’s attorneys.

The position of District I judge hasn’t been contested in some time, and will be open after the retirement of Judge Lee Christofferson.

“(I’m interested) in the judgeship,” Deckert said. “I know a bunch of them, which is unusual. Usually you don’t know them.”

Two of the four judicial candidates will move on to face off head to head after today’s primary, and though Deckert is invested in the outcome, she says that today’s vote, for her, is a matter of civic duty.

“I always vote,” Deckert said. “I feel it’s my responsibility to vote.”

Other local elections include the Devils Lake Park Board and School Board. Peter Jerome and Lisa Uhlenkamp are running unopposed for the Park Board seats, while Jeff Frith and Cory Meyer are also running unopposed for the School Board positions.

Voting began at 8 a.m. and continued until 7 p.m. at locations around the region.