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Leckner elected Park Rapids mayor; Aukes wins third term as sheriff

Write-in candidate Ryan Leckner won the race for Park Rapids mayor in the Nov. 6 election.

According to unofficial results provided by the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, there were 650 write-in votes for mayor of Park Rapids (45 percent), compared to 501 votes for Pam Hauber (35 percent) and 289 votes for incumbent mayor Pat Mikesh (20 percent).

Leckner's campaign as an official write-in began after Mikesh announced on Oct. 3 that he is stepping down as mayor at the end of the year. Mikesh's name remained on the ballot, but he said he would not serve if elected.

Hubbard County

In the race for Hubbard County Sheriff, incumbent Cory Aukes won his third term with 7,116 votes (73 percent) over Minnesota State Trooper Dion Pederson's 2,659 votes (27 percent).

Challenger David De La Hunt was elected county commissioner for District 1 with 1,098 votes (54 percent) over incumbent Vern Massie, who took 942 votes (46 percent).

Tom Krueger prevailed in the county commissioner race for District 3 with 1,153 votes (57 percent) over incumbent Ed Smith's 851 votes (43 percent).

In non-contested races, Jonathan Frieden received 7,755 votes (99 percent) as county attorney; Ted Van Kempen won 1,670 votes (99 percent) as County Commissioner District 5.

Soil & Water Conservation District

Marcel Noyes received 7,693 votes (99 percent) in a special election for Soil and Water Supervisor District 2; Donald Sells won 7,824 votes (99 percent) as Soil and Water Supervisor District 4; and Lynn Goodrich won 7,700 votes (99 percent) as Soil and Water Supervisor District 5. All were incumbents and unchallenged.

Other city races

Incumbents Erika Randall (1,095 votes) and Tom Conway (998 votes) were re-elected to the Park Rapids City Council.

Jarod Senger was re-elected mayor of Nevis with 138 votes (97 percent). Elected to the Nevis City Council were Jeanne Thompson (115 votes), Rich Johnson (104 votes) and Teresa Leshovsky (121 votes).

In a five-way race for three seats on the Akeley City Council, winners were Dan Riggs (84 votes), Billy Krotzer (83) and Margaret Bond Vorel (82). Jon Mitchell also received 70 votes, and Mark Hood received 49.

Running unopposed for mayor of Laporte, Jordan Lemke received 40 votes (95 percent). Elected to the Laporte City Council were Matt Sconce (44 votes) and Patricia Gendron (36 votes).

Joan Liimatta is the new mayor of Menahga, winning 56.7 percent of the vote (278 votes) compared to Nathan Carlson's 40.82 percent (200 votes).

Art Huebner and Robyn Keranen secured two city council seats for four-year terms. Keranen garnered 354 votes and Huebner 247. Larry Karjala was the sole candidate for the two-year council seat, earning 453 votes.

Menahga voters answered "yes" to two ballot questions, voting 300 to 220 to allow the city to license retail liquor sales on Sundays, and voting 325 to 188 to allow private on-sale licenses to be issued to hotels, restaurants and clubs.

School board elections

Re-elected without opposition to the Park Rapids School Board were incumbents Stephanie Carlson (3,496 votes), Dennis Dodge (3,174 votes) and Clayton Hoyt (3,005 votes).

Elected to the Nevis School Board were Andrew Lindow (1,060 votes), Gary Stennes (808 votes) and Edward Becker (804 votes).

Andrea Haverinen, Durwin Tomperi and Katie Howard were all re-elected to the Menahga School Board. Haverinen received 1,074 votes; Howard 1,049 and Tomperi 867. Challenger Bob Smith received 563 votes, failing to earn a seat.

Winning two seats on the Laporte School Board were Susan Olson (423 votes) and Joe Jorland (415 votes). Royce Stute also received 211 votes.

State representatives

District 2B Rep. Steve Green, a Republican from Fosston, was re-elected with 61 percent of the vote, beating DFL challenger Karen Branden (38.91 percent). In Hubbard County, Green garnered 2,989 votes to Branden's 1,765.

Incumbent District 2A State Rep. Matt Grossell, a Republican from Bagley, earned 59.78 percent of the vote to retain his seat. Michael Northbird of Cass Lake, the DFL candidate, earned 40 percent of the vote. In Hubbard County, Grossell received 3,100 votes to Northbird's 2,011.