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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 06 2012

Sinner beats Roers by 315 votes in North Dakota District 46

FARGO – The battle for the North Dakota Senate seat from District 46 wasn’t short on name recognition with George Sinner and Jim Roers.

And, Tuesday night, it certainly wasn’t short on suspense. Sinner won by just 315 votes over Sinner in complete but unofficial results.

“I never got nervous, honestly, because I believe in fate and I believe no matter what it will work out,” Sinner said.

Sinner got 3,928 votes, or 52 percent of the vote. With all three precincts reporting and before absentee and early-voting ballots were counted, only three votes separated the two.

“We worked really hard to get out the message and tried to stay on that message to find solutions for people’s problems,” Sinner said.

Sinner is the son of a former North Dakota governor and Roers is a president of construction, development and management companies bearing his name.

In the District 46 House race, Kathy Hawken figured the last election would be her last. She was wrong.

Tuesday night, after being elected for the fifth time, she sounded firm that she’ll retire from politics after four more years. In complete but unofficial results, Hawken and fellow Republican incumbent Jim Kasper were re-elected with Hawken getting 29 percent of the vote and Kasper 28 percent.

“This was the toughest of all the campaigns I’ve been involved in because we had credible and hard-working competition,” Hawken said. “And they made a race out of it. They were the kind of campaigns we wish they all would be.”

Democratic challengers Diane Hill and Lee Myxter got 23 and 19 percent of the votes respectively.

As clean as a campaign that Hawken experienced, Kasper said there was more “misinformation” thrown his way. He said voters saw through that in re-electing him.

“They saw through some of the stones the democrats were throwing,” Kasper said. “It was a fallacy in me taking these high-paying junkets. I was speaking at conferences, not high-paying conferences.”

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Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.