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Grotelueschen wins District 2 commissioner seat

November 8, 2018

Farmer Carl Grotelueschen won the race for District 2 Colfax County Board of Commissioners seat Tuesday by beating out Paul Mefford, former manager of Arps Red-E-Mix.

In his first year running for a political position, Grotelueschen, a Republican, secured 594 (69.64 percent) of total District 2 votes, doubling Mefford’s total of 258 (30.25 percent).

During May’s primary election, Grotelueschen beat out existing District 2 Commissioner Gil Wigington and Gene Novak by garnering just over 49 percent of the overall vote. Wigington received 21.5 percent of the total vote and Novak landed just under 29 percent.

Mefford, who is a Democrat, ran uncontested during the primary.

“It could have gone a little better, but it is what it is,” said Mefford, noting the District 2 voter turnout was lower than he expected.

The combined votes between Mefford and Grotelueschen totaled up to 852. District 2 consists of Colfax County precinct three, as well as part of precinct four and five. These areas include Adams, Midland, Grant and the north portion of Schuyler.

Despite his disappointment, Mefford expressed his congratulations to his opponent. He said he expects Grotelueschen to do a good job throughout his term.

Grotelueschen will be joined with District 1 Colfax County Commissioner Jeff Bauman, who has two years left on his term, and District 3 Colfax County Commissioner Jim Mejstrik, who ran uncontested during the general election.

During May’s primary election, Mejstrik, a Republican, defeated incumbent Jerry Heard and Lumir Jedlicka.

Rita Mundil, Colfax County clerk and election commissioner, said there were 2,556 (50 percent of registered voters) total votes cast, which exceeded her expectations. Because of that, it was a busy evening for Mundil, who aimed to have results published online by 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mundil said the final numbers arrived at her office at approximately 9:30 p.m. and were published online at 10:30 p.m. Despite being off target, she said her office didn’t have any big issues.

“For Colfax County, it was a very smooth running election,” she said. “So I am very, very happy with how it went.”

During a previous interview with the Sun, Grotelueschen said he has big plans for his term.

Grotelueschen has been a farmer throughout his adult life. Because of that, the Schuyler native aims to represent the agriculture community with hopes of fulfilling the industry’s needs.

Grotelueschen, who is also a founding member of the Shell Creek Watershed Improvement Group in 1999, said land values have increased tremendously throughout the years leaving a heavy burden on area agriculture landowners. He said some individuals, especially senior citizens, have to watch their spendable income because of hits taken from soaring property taxes.

That is why a little goes a long way for Grotelueschen. The father of two plans to help the county achieve financial stability by cutting costs in various government departments in hopes of further reducing property taxes.

“The vast majority of the people in this county make their living from agriculture,” said Grotelueschen in a previous interview with the Sun.

Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at natasya.ong@lee.net.

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