Voters head to poll for June Primary
By Neal A. Shipman
When McKenzie County voters step into the voting booth on Tuesday, June 10, they will be casting their vote for a variety of positions in area city races for city councils, park districts and school boards, as well as which candidates will advance to the November General Election in two highly-contested races for county sheriff and two seats on the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners.
In the city, and school board elections, June’s election results will be final, while in the county and state races the top vote-getters will automatically advance to the November General Election.
McKenzie County Races
On the ballot for county sheriff are Matt Johansen, Gary Schwartzenberger, Troy White Owl and C.J. Jones. However, according to Jones, he has decided to withdraw from the race. The top two vote-getters in the June Primary will advance to the November Election.
Seeking one of two spots on the McKenzie County Commission are incumbent Richard Lawlar, along with Vawnita Best, Kent Pedersen, Dan Richmond and Kathy Skarda. Only four of the five candidates will move on to the November ballot.
Running unchallenged for other county offices are Linda Svihovec, who is seeking another term as County Auditor; Jacob Rodenbiker, who is seeking a full term as County State’s Attorney; Ann M. Johnsrud, who is running for County Recorder; and Cheryl Grantier, who is seeking another term as County Treasurer.
The McKenzie County Farmer will be on the ballot to serve as the official newspaper of McKenzie County.
Three candidates, Aaron Gravos, Philip K. Riely and Steven J. Sanford, have filed for three open seats on the Watford City City Council, while Brent Sanford is seeking another term as city mayor. LeAnne Voll, William Carlson, Justin Johnsrud, Allen M. Shelley and Katherine Walters are seeking to fill the three open positions on the Watford City Park Board.
In addition to those races, in Watford City, city residents will be asked to decide on extending the Home Rule Charter and increasing the city sales tax from one percent to 1½ percent.
In the city of Arnegard, Bryan L. Bjornstad, Patrick Brunson, Sherrie Handy-Permenter and Sharon R. Lane are seeking to fill one of three open seats on the city council. Two of those seats are for four-year terms and one seat is for a two-year term. Jeffrey Kindel is running unchallenged for Arnegard mayor and Sherry Lervick is seeking election as the Arnegard Municipal Judge.
Darlene Faulkner and Joshua Moody are seeking re-election to serve on the Arnegard Park Board.
In the city of Alexander, Joey Hackett and Sheldon Wahlstrom are seeking election to the city council, while Matt Swanson and Jonathan Tullar are running for the Alexander Park Board.
School Board Races
For the McKenzie County School District No. 1, there are four candidates, Pam Ramage, City of Watford City; Heather Wisness, Area 6; Gary Bruins, City or Rural Arnegard; and Beth Veeder, Area 4 and 5, who are running unchallenged, while there are five candidates, Kurt Fixen, Cecile Long, LaShell Mugg-Tjelde and Larry Novak, seeking to fill the two spots on the Alexander School District No. 2 School Board.
With three seats open on the Yellowstone School District No. 14 School Board, voters will have to choose between four candidates, Harvey Asbeck, Jeff Bieber, Britt Poulsen and Tyler Tjelde.
Voters in those school districts will also be voting to elect the McKenzie County Farmer as their school district’s official newspaper.
For the first time in many years, voters in District 39 will see a full slate of candidates from the Republican and Democrat parties seeking to serve in the North Dakota Legislature.
In the Senate race, Republican incumbent Bill L. Bowman is running against Democrat Stephanie L. Pretzer for District 39, while Republicans Keith Kempenich, an incumbent, along with Denton Zubke is running against Democrats Greg Tank and Maddison Voigt.
Statewide, voters will also be voting for several other officeholders, as well as a constitutional measure that would change the filing deadline for the submission of an initiated measure petition from 90 to 120 days before a statewide election, and that any challenges to the measure must be filed with the Supreme Court no later than 75 days before the election.