Primary attracts very few county voters
With no local races to be decided in the primary election last Tuesday, Pope County voter turnout was very dismal. Of the nearly 6,700 registered voters in the county, only 14 percent decided to show up at the polls last Tuesday.
The main attraction was likely the governorís race, which included four candidates vying for the nod on the Republican side. Pope County Republicans did not go with the state when it came to selecting the candidate to run against DFL Governor Mark Dayton. The top Republican selected by voters in Pope County was Curt Zellers. The former state legislator received 158 votes or 32.3 percent of the vote, while former state legislator Marty Seifert of Marshall received 121 votes and 24. 7 percent of the vote. Jeff Johnson, who won the statewide primary election for the Republican ticket, received 114 votes and 23.3 percent of the vote in Pope County. Fourth candidate, Scott Honour ,received 15.9 percent of the county vote.
When it came to the U.S. Senate seat, Pope County Republican voters went with the statewide selection, voting for Mike McFadden, who received 72.9 percent of the local vote. McFadden is the Republican now running against incumbent Democrat Al Frankin for one of the stateís U.S. Senator seats.
On the DFL side, the main statewide race was for State Auditor with a race between Matt Entenza and Rebecca Otto, the incumbent state auditor. Otto won easily in the state and in Pope County. She took 81.4 percent of the vote in the county.
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While the primary election may not have attracted many local voters, the general election should be a different story.
There are a number of local races, including races for county commissioner seats, a race for House District seats in both 12B and 12A, a three-way race for the Glenwood mayor position, and a two-way race for mayor of Starbuck. Voters will also decide a new county recorder since current recorder Darby Bowen chose not to seek reelection.
And, voters recently learned that they will decide for or against a school levy increase to provide repair and maintenance of school facilities.
Coverage of the local races will ramp up in the coming weeks with a complete local votersí guide being published a few weeks before the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.