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Eric Peterson, Published November 07 2012

Republicans sweep again in North Dakota District 22

FARGO – The Republicans appeared headed for another sweep in rural Cass County for the North Dakota Legislature.

They won all three seats in District 22, two House and one Senate, in 2008, and it looks like it will be a repeat performance.

In the Senate race with all eight precincts reporting, incumbent Gary Lee had 62 percent to Democrat Jessica Arneson’s 38 percent in complete but unofficial results.

In the House race, Peter Silbernagel had 37 percent and incumbent Wesley Belter had 34 percent to earn seats.

Democrat Allan Peterson had 28 percent.

“We had a good message to them in terms of what we were going to do,” Lee said. “We’re pleased the people turned out and responded to what they thought was strong leadership for their district.”

Lee has served in the Senate since 2001, while Belter has served in the House since 1985.

Silbernagel made it a sweep for the Republicans. Vonnie Pietsch decided not to run again after winning a House seat in 2008.

Belter, 67, is a farmer. He believes oil development in western North Dakota, water development around the state and property tax reform and reduction are three important issues.

Silbernagel, 62, is a business executive who believes balancing the unprecedented growth in both the state’s population and economy are important.

Lee, 65, sees statewide infrastructure, a balanced tax relief plan and managing government growth are important issues.

“We went out and worked hard, covered the district well door-to-door and met some great people,” Lee said.

Lee had 4,505 votes to Arneson’s 2,792 votes. Silbernagel had 4,044 votes, Belter had 3,742 votes and Peterson had 3,110 votes.

District 22 includes Casselton.

Senators and representatives are paid $148 per day during the legislative session, plus a lodging reimbursement. They serve four-year terms.