Eric Peterson, Published November 06 2012
Axness, Koppelman, Hanson headed to ND LegislatureFARGO – Voters in western Fargo and south West Fargo made historical choices for the North Dakota Legislature.
The new District 16 had races decided in both the House and Senate and it appeared youth prevailed.
With all three precincts reporting, Democrat Tyler Axness had 53 percent for the one seat in the Senate Race to Republican David Duff’s 46 percent in complete but unofficial results.
In the House race for two seats, Republican Ben Koppelman had 29 percent and Democrat Ben Hanson had 27 percent to Democrat John Lund’s 23 percent and Republican Harlan Goerger’s 21 percent.
“There was a lot of anxiety going into it as well,” said Axness, who is 25 years old. “With a new district, you didn’t know. You didn’t have any previous information to go off of.”
Hanson, 26, sees housing and infrastructure in Oil Patch counties, new property tax codes and flood protection as important issues.
“I think we just hit the most doors,” Hanson said. “We made the most personal contact. We really hammered home or message. We weren’t generic.”
Koppelman, 32, said maintaining quality education and property tax relief were two important issues in the race.
“I tried to run on taking a common sense approach to problems,” Koppelman said. “There was no blueprint on how to run a campaign in this district.”
Axness had 3,096 votes to Duff’s 2,706 votes, as of press time.
Koppelman had 2,910 votes, Hanson had 2,672 votes, Lund had 2,354 votes and Goerger had 2,112 votes as of press time.
Senators and representatives are paid $148 per day during the legislative session, plus a lodging reimbursement. They serve four-year terms.