The Tracy City Council will expand by two members in 2021, meaning a total of five council seats will need to be filled in November, and there is a large contingent of hopefuls gunning for those seats — 11 to be precise.
Current seats up for election are now occupied by Dave Tiegs, Kou Thao and George Landuyt, who is filling the seat left vacant when Mayor Tony Peterson moved to the mayoral position.
Landuyt, Thao and Tiegs are running to keep their seats, and challengers for their seats and others include Ken Witt, Rosemary Martin, Seth Schmidt, Rhonda Fredericks, Dan Jensen, Jan Arvizu, Ron Koopman and Reuben Sundheim.
Three members will be elected to a four-year term, and two will be chosen to fill two-year terms. To determine what vote-getters will be awarded which terms, the Tracy City Council on July 13 passed a resolution to award the top three vote-getters the four-year terms, and the fourth and fifth vote-getters the two-year terms.
The mayor’s seat will also be on the ballot in a special election — that seat is
currently filled by Tony Peterson; it will be a two-year term, as it will finish out the four-year term started by Anthony Dimmers. Pamela Cooreman will run against Peterson for that seat. Cooreman, who in 2014 was elected to a four-year city council term, was appointed mayor pro-tem in January 2018 after Stephen Ferrazzano resigned to accept a district court judge appointment.
Adding two council members in Tracy represents an added annual expenditure of about $5,400 for city government. City council members are paid $551 a quarter, and $20 for each council meeting attended (there are 24 per year), adding up to compensation of just under $2,700 for a council person who attended two meetings per month.
• Four of the seven District No. 2904 School Board seats are up for election; those seats are currently held by Ben Ludeman, Matt Surprenant, Jay Fultz and Nicole Swanson. There are no challengers.
• In the Milroy School District, five are running for three seats: Mary Ellen Busiahn, Ashley Christensen, Kimberly Jenniges (current board chair), Angie Orren and Brian VanDeVeire.
• In Currie, three are running for two council seats: Darrell Gleason, Kala Larson and Eugene Short.
• Renee Zwach is running for a city council seat in Milroy, and Neil Hefte and Don Peterson are running for two council seats in Garvin.
• In Walnut Grove, Todd Harrington and Paulette Koch are running for the two open city council seats, and Greg Hansen is the only mayoral candidate.
• In Slayton, Bradley Pagel is running against mayoral incumbent Miron Carney. Also, a special city council election will take place with Dean Ackerman and Judy Onken LaBoda running. Blake Heronimus is also running for council.
• Charlie Sanow, Gary Crowley and Rick Anderson have filed for re-election to the Lyon County Board. There is a race for a Murray County Board of Commissioners, where James Jens and Molly Malone will face off in District 1. Lori Gunnink (D2) and David Thiner (D5) are running unopposed.
Another local race, this one in Redwood County, will pit Justin Lawrence Lightfoot against Rick Wakefield in District 1. Bob Van Hee (D4) and David Forkrud (D5) are running unopposed. Ryan Benedict and Brian Timm are vying for the Redwood County Soil & Water Supervisor spot in District 2.
• As of presstime Tuesday Michelle Fischbach had a large lead over Dave Hughes in the race for the Republican nod and right to face longtime Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson in Congressional District 7, who has served since 1990.
• Locally, Shawna Marshall led big over Roger Elgersma for the right to go up against the likely Republican nominee, incumbent Bill Weber of Luverne, when the Tracy Area Headlight Herald went to press, and in District 16B, incumbent Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) led comfortably over Tamara Houle. The winner will face DFLer Marinda Kimmel.