« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Erik Burgess, Published August 14 2012

2nd spot is a squeaker in Clay board primaries

MOORHEAD – The Clay County commissioner primary was a nail biter Tuesday evening.

Both primaries in Districts 2 and 3 had clear frontrunners. But two candidates per district move on to the Nov. 6 general election, and second place was decided by less than six votes in both districts.

There are no automatic recounts for county elections, but they can be requested by candidates, according to the county auditor’s office.

In complete but unofficial results, Frank Gross, a former Dilworth city councilman, advanced in District 2 with 31 percent of the vote. Barring a recount, he’s set to face John Young Jr., former Hawley mayor, who won 27.8 percent of the vote to edge out Ken Parke’s 27.3 percent.

Gross, who won District 2 with 243 votes, said Tuesday he appreciated the support from the county, but the tight race indicated he has a lot of work left to do before November.

“I gotta prove to the people that I’m going to work for the county, to show that I’m knowledgeable enough to move on,” he said.

Young, who captured 216 votes in District 2, said he felt the rural population must have showed up in force to vote for him.

“Evidently several people think as I do, that it’s time we get somebody from the east end of the county again,” he said.

Parke, who drew 212 votes, couldn’t be reached for comment late Tuesday.

District 2 covers most of northern Clay County outside of Moorhead.

In District 3, incumbent Jon Evert easily topped all candidates with 49 percent of the vote. Greg Anderson, former chairman of Oakport Township, will face Evert after winning 22 percent of votes to squeak past Gary L. Peterson, former owner and manager of J.C. Chumley’s, who took 21 percent.

District 3 covers most of southern Clay County, outside of Moorhead.

Evert, who won with 312 votes, said he felt good about the primary.

“I hope I can finish out this term in a positive way and get some things done that we need doing in the county,” said Evert, who was elected to a four-year term in 2010 but had to run again due to redistricting.

Anderson, who captured 141 votes, said he’s excited about moving forward to the general election.

“I’d like the opportunity to do good for the people of Clay County,” he said.

Peterson, who at 135 votes was just six behind Anderson, said he would probably not ask for a recount.

“I figured it’d be close,” he said. “I guess my first reaction is, no, I’m not going to waste taxpayers’ money on a recount.”

In District 2, Jay Buchfink drew 9 percent with 68 votes. Traci Goble had 5 percent with 38 votes.

In District 3, challenger Duane Hansen had 7 percent with 45 votes.

Commissioners serve four-year terms, but due to redistricting, District 3 is a two-year term this election. Commissioners receive an annual salary of $25,701.

Incumbents Wayne Ingersoll, Kevin Campbell and Grant Weyland from Districts 1, 4 and 5 are running unopposed for re-election to the board.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518