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Tangen handily defeats Moe for auditor-treasurer

Though Becker County Auditor and Treasurer Ryan Tangen has been out on the campaign trail for months now, and has spent the past two weeks testing the county's new election equipment, it wasn't until the boxes were open and the ballot cards were being counted Tuesday night that the nerves really began to kick in.

"It was quite a relief to see the results start coming in," he said. "It was a great feeling to know that 76 percent of the people supported me and feel I can do a good job for Becker County over the next four years."

Tangen received 9,580 of 12,559 ballots cast, or 76.28 percent of the overall vote. His opponent, Larry J. Moe, received 2,958 votes, or 23.55 percent.

Now that he has been elected to his first full term as both auditor and treasurer -- he was elected as treasurer in 2002, then appointed as auditor when incumbent Keith Brekken retired earlier this year -- Tangen said his first priority will be to go about the business of combining the two offices.

"I'm looking forward to being able to consolidate these offices," he said, adding that it will increase efficiency and allow him to strengthen internal controls -- but also, he said with a grin, it will mean "less running back and forth between offices for me."

Overall, Tangen said, the election process went about as smoothly as it possibly could have -- in fact, all the ballots were counted and results tabulated by 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Countywide, a total of 13,479 voters showed up at the polls, a turnout of just over 72 percent.

"It appears we just about doubled what was anticipated for overall voter turnout statewide," he said, noting that a statewide voter turnout of between 45-50 percent was expected. "Becker County was leading the pack for voter turnout at both the primary and general elections."

Tangen's own vote percentage remained pretty consistent at 70-75 percent through most of the county's 46 precincts, with his challenger's strongest support coming from the City of Callaway, where Moe received 30 percent of the vote; Green Valley Township, where he received 34 percent; Runeberg, at 33 percent; Savannah Township, 31 percent; Sugar Bush Township, 32 percent; Two Inlets Township, 39 percent; and Pine Point Township, where he received 42 percent of the overall vote.

Moe could not be immediately reached for comment.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454