Final numbers: Grondahl tops polls in LP-A
With seven candidates seeking to fill four positions on the Lake Park-Audubon School Board at Tuesday's general elections, voting was very close, as the first and last place finishers were separated by just 4 percent of the vote.
Incumbent board member Vicky Grondahl topped the polls with 981 votes, narrowly edging newcomer Rich Veit, who finished with 968 votes, for the top spot in the polls.
They each received 16 percent of the 6,136 total ballots cast.
"I'm honored and I'm humbled that the people of the district trust me to represent their interests regarding their children," Grondahl said, "I would like to thank the voters for their continued support.
"It's an awesome responsibility, and I take it very seriously -- I always have, and will continue to do so," she added.
Grondahl also said that she was optimistic about LP-A's future.
"We've been through some really rocky times -- I'm happy that those are over," she said, referring to the four unsuccessful bonding referendums that preceded last spring's successful vote for construction of a new high school in Lake Park and addition/renovation to the elementary facilities in Audubon.
"I see nothing but growth ahead," Grondahl said.
"I'm just looking forward to the opportunity to serve," said Veit upon learning that he had been successful in his election bid.
"With the operating levy that was passed and the building bond vote that passed this year, I think the tide has turned, and there's a new atmosphere here in LP-A," he added. "I think people just truly value having these schools in their communities.
"It's an exciting time for the district, and there are going to be a lot of changes, a lot of planning going on in the next few years, with both facilities and staff," Veit continued. "I'm looking forward to having some input on that."
Also successful in their bids for another term on the LP-A School Board were incumbents Jeff Swetland and Michael McIntire, who received 927 and 905 votes, respectively, or about 15 percent apiece.
The fourth incumbent who was seeking re-election was not so lucky, however. Rick Ellsworth finished just out of the top four spots in fifth place, with 775 votes, or 13 percent.
Right behind him were challengers Monica LaPoint and Ryan Quern, with 763 and 734 votes respectively (about 12 percent each).