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Voting has been steady in Becker County for the general election today, and there have been few if any problems with election equipment or polling places. "It's almost eerily quiet," said Becker County Auditor-Treasurer Ryan Tangen at about 1:15 p.m. "Things are going pretty well," he said. The county received new voting equipment in 2006, and Tangen is used to going out to polling places to troubleshoot when problems arise. But today, they never arose. On a normal election day, he gets up at 6 a.m.
Four candidates are running for three seats on the Detroit Lakes School Board. Three of them -- incumbent Terrie Boyd and challengers Brenda Muckenhirn and Tom Thompson -- appeared at a candidate forum Thursday at M State in Detroit Lakes. A second incumbent, David Langworthy, was out of town and unable to attend, according to League of Women Voters moderator Helen Foltz. Boyd said she has served nearly five years on the school board and is still "absolutely thrilled to be on the board." A home daycare provider, she has lived in Detroit Lakes for 17 years.
Six candidates appeared at a forum for the Detroit Lakes City Council on Thursday at M State, though not all were in contested races. Incumbent Dave Aune and challenger Doug Friendshuh are vying for a seat representing Ward 2. Al Brevik and Madalyn Sukke are competing for two at-large seats. Deceased alderman Walt Tollefson's name will also appear on the ballot. Dan Wenner and G.L.
With 280 full- and part-time employees to oversee, and a $20 million annual budget, it's no small potatoes to be Becker County's top administrator. Acting County Administrator Nancy Grabanski, 44, uses a little humor and a lot of teamwork to keep the county humming along on all eight cylinders. Since former Becker County Administrator Brian Berg resigned in July to take the top Clay County position, Grabanski has been serving both as interim county administrator and as county human resources director -- a position she has held since 1999. She and her husband, Alex Bishop, live near Osag
The interaction was cordial but intense between District 2A legislative candidates Kent Eken and Steve Green Thursday at a candidate forum in Detroit Lakes. DFL incumbent Eken of Twin Valley is a lifelong resident of the district, now in his fourth term in the Minnesota House. He and his wife have four children in the Norman County East School District, the youngest a kindergartener and the oldest a senior. Eken, who is also a teacher, said he cares deeply about the state's K-12 education system. "We have deep roots here," he said.
DFL challenger Pete Phillips didn't have anyone to debate at a candidate forum Thursday -- his opponent, Republican incumbent Mark Murdock, didn't show up. Phillips said he is used to it. "He's batting zero for six," on showing up for campaign events in which he could go head-to-head with his opponent, Phillips said.
The Republican challenger for the Minnesota House 9B seat may be young, but he didn't pull any punches in a candidate forum Thursday in Detroit Lakes. Ben Grimsley, 24, of Detroit Lakes used every opportunity to go after DFL incumbent Paul Marquart of Dilworth. Grimsley said he grew up in Detroit Lakes and worked with several small business in town before obtaining finance and economics degrees. He now works as a financial advisor in Detroit Lakes. He said he is running for the Legislature because "we can't afford to send big taxing, big spending politicians to St. Paul anymore.
A candidate forum will be held this evening for Lake Park-Audubon School Board candidates. It is set for 7 p.m. today (Monday, Oct. 25) at the high school theater in Lake Park. League of Women Voters member Helen Foltz will moderate. This event will conclude no later than 8:30 p.m.
There's no love lost in the Senate District 10 race between laidback DFL incumbent Dan Skogen and fiery Republican challenger Gretchen Hoffman. Skogen, a sports director for a radio station in Wadena, lives with his wife about eight miles south of Wadena on a hobby farm. "I've focused a lot of my attention on agriculture issue and farm issues," he said.
The Minnesota Senate District 2 race features incumbent DFLer Rod Skoe vs. Republican challenger Dennis Moser. Skoe is a married farmer with two grown children who has served eight years in the state Senate, two state House terms before that, and served as a county commissioner and school board member prior to that. Moser is married with six grown children and is a Vietnam veteran who grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois.