Houston County voters pick two new commissioners, split their ballot between GOP/DFL
The Houston County board will have two new faces this winter.
Voters chose challenger Eric Johnson over Justin Zmyewski by a 62-38 margin. Johnson had 1,074 votes to 655 for Zmyewski.
In a special election, Robert Burns emerged from a four-candidate field to replace Scott Conner in District 3. Burns received 756 votes, or 55.43 percent. The next-closest candidate was Bruce Bulman with 270 votes (19.79 percent).
Winning re-election was Teresa Walter. She got 1,170 votes compared to challenger Ken Visger, who had 864, for a 57-42 percent margin.
In other elections in the county:
• Teresa O’Donnell-Ebner and Cherryl K. Jostad won spots on the La Crescent City Council with 29.85 percent and 26.09 percent, respectively, of the vote in a five-candidate race. Ryan Hutchinson was the next-closest candidate with 23.82 percent. Mike Poellinger was unopposed in his bid for another term as mayor.
• There were several elections in Hokah with razor-thin margins. Mike Walsh won re-election by a scant eight votes over challenger Lee Tippery (136-128). Council members Ben Spanjers (127 votes) and Don Bissen (121) edged out Tom Oldenburg (113) for seats, while Jim Feuerhelm beat Jerry Martell 134-132 in a tight vote in a city council special election.
• David Olson will receive another term as mayor of Houston after winning a tight race against Tony Schultz. Olson got 225 votes; Schultz had 196.
• In Caledonia, DeWayne “Tank” Schroeder (mayor) and Brad Rykhus (city council) were elected. Another open city council seat will be decided by write-in votes.
• Susan Schwebach edged Becky Konieczny-Peterson in a tight race for county recorder. Schwebach won with 3,885 votes compared to 3,728 for Konieczny-Peterson.
In state and federal races, Houston County voters split their ballots.
County voters favored the DFL candidate in one of two U.S. Senate elections, giving Amy Klobuchar a 49.5 percent-46.4 percent edge over Jim Newberger. They also went for the Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan ticket for governor by a 49.3 percent-47.7 percent edge over Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom.
But they backed GOP Senate candidate Karin Housley by more than 4,000 votes and 4 percent over Tina Smith, and slightly favored Jim Hagedorn (4,526 votes, 50.6 percent) over Dan Feehan (4,410 votes, 49.3 percent) for the 1st Congressional District seat.
The Republican candidate who got the most votes? Attorney general nominee Doug Wardlow, who received nearly 52 percent of the vote. Keith Ellison got 43 percent.