Area voters will help decide a host of local, county, and state contests in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 general election.
Polls will be open until 8 p.m., with balloting in most precincts beginning at 7 a.m.
The 2018 general election has added importance for Minnesotans with the governorship, and two U.S. Senate seats at stake. The Senate races, and eight highly-contested state Congressional races could help determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress. Minnesota House races will help decide which party controls the state legislature.
In Lyon County, voters will elect a new sheriff, fill two county commissioner seats, and choose a county attorney.
City of Tracy voters will select a new mayor and vote on two council terms. Two proposed amendments to city charter will be considered as well, one to expand the size of the city council by two and one to clarify the language regarding term limits.
In a District 2904 school board election, three incumbents are running unopposed.
Topping the Minnesota ballot, voters will decide who succeeds two-term DFL incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton. Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner who ran unsuccessfully against Dayton in 2014, is the Republican candidate. Congressman Tim Walz, Mankato, is the Democratic candidate.
Minnesota has two U.S. Senate elections because of the resignation of Democrat Al Franken earlier this year. Dayton appointed his Lt. Governor Tina Smith to fill the Franken vacancy in 2018. The Nov. 6 election will determine if Smith continues in office to serve out the remaining two years of Franken’s term. State Senator Karin Housely is the Republican challenger.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, is seeking reelection to her third term. Jim Newberger is the Republican candidate.
Several state constitutional offices are on the ballot.
For Secretary of State, DFL incumbent Steve Simon is being challenged by Republican John Howe.
The State Auditor’s office will have a successor to incumbent Rebecca Otto, who unsuccessfully sought DFL endorsement for governor. Pam Myhra is the Republican endorsed candidate, with Julie Blaha the DFL candidate.
Democrat Keith Ellison and Republican Doug Wardlow are the major-party candidates for attorney general.
Tri-County voters will help decide Congressional races in either the Seventh or First Congressional Districts. Citizens in Lyon, Murray, Lincoln, and Redwood counties, and part of Cottonwood County will cast ballots in the Seventh District, where Democrat incumbent Collin Peterson, who was first elected in 1990, is seeking reelection. Republican David Hughes is the challenger.
The First Congressional District includes Rock, Nobles, Jackson, and Brown counties, and the eastern half of Cottonwood. Major party candidates in the district now represented by Walz are Republican Jim Hagedorn and Democrat Dan Feehan.
Tracy is on the edge of four Minnesota House legislative districts: 22A, 22B, 16A and 16B. Republican incumbents now represent all four.
In District 22A, Rep. Joe Schomacher, Luverne, is seeking his fifth-term. His DFL challenger is Maxwell Kaufmann, Fulda.
Rep. Rod Hamilton, Mt. Lake, is seeking an eighth term in District 22B. Cheniqua Johnson, Worthington, is the DFL candidate.
Chris Swedzinski, Ghent, first elected to the House 16A seat in 2010, is being challenged by DFL Tom Wyatt-Yerka. Marshall.
Paul Torkelson, Hanska, is seeking his sixth term in District 16B. His DFL challenger is Mindy Kimmel, New Ulm.
Two names will be on the ballot for Lyon County Sheriff: Eric Wallen and Jim Marshall. However, Marshall, who is a Sgt. with the Marshall Police Dept., has withdrawn from the race, after accepting an offer to be the City of Marshall’s next public safety director. Wallen is a 20-year veteran of the Lyon County sheriff’s dept.
County Attorney Rick Maes is running unopposed.
In the District 2 commissioner’s district, incumbent Steve Ritter is opposed by Al Kruse. Paul Graupmann is running unopposed in District 3. Both districts include portions of the City of Marshall.
Incumbent Sheriff Steve Telkamp is being challenged by Paul Kenney.
The District 3 commissioner election will have Dennis Welgraw and Sarah Rylaarsdam on the ballot. The choice in District 4 is Jim Kluis and Glenn Kluis.
City of Tracy
City councilman Tony Peterson and planning commission member Anthony Dimmers are seeking election to a four-year term as mayor. Two people have filed for a two-year term: Kou Thao and David Spencer. Jeri Schons is running unopposed for a four-year term.
Tracy voters will also decide two proposed changes to city charter. One amendment would expand the size of the council from four to six members (plus the mayor). The other would add language to current term limits for council and mayor, so that no one could serve more than 14 consecutive years, either as mayor or council member, or some combination of both offices. (See related story).
Tracy Public Schools
Three incumbents are running unopposed for new terms on the District 2904 Board of Education. They are Rod Benson, Sheila Siebenahler-Holland, and Jody Bauer (See related story).
Check public notices page in this newspaper for the locations and times of specific Lyon County precincts. Sample ballots showing the various state, county, township, city, and school elections were also published in the public notices section last week.
Minnesota law allows voter registration on the day of the election with identification and proof of address. Accepted identifications are listed on the public notices page. Questions can be directed to the Lyon County Auditor’s office at 507-537-6724, option 4, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.