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Becker County Board primary winners gearing up for Nov. 8 election

Becker County incumbent Commissioner Ben Grimsley came in first in the Becker County Board race for District 2, with challenger David Meyer coming in a solid second. And Craig Hall and Erica Jepson

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Ben Grimsley
Submitted Photo
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DETROIT LAKES — Becker County incumbent Commissioner Ben Grimsley came in first in the Becker County Board race for District 2, with challenger David Meyer coming in a solid second.

Grimsley received 329 votes and Meyer received 284 votes in the Aug. 9 primary election, according to the Becker County website.

All four candidates in the race had a respectable number of supporters, with Darin Halvorson receiving 238 votes and Steven D. Walz collecting 167 votes.

As the top two vote-getters, Grimsley and Meyer now advance to the general election on Nov. 8.

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David Meyer
Contributed/David Meyer

Becker County Commissioner District 2 is a Detroit Lakes city district, consisting of Detroit Lakes wards 2 and 3.

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In Ward 2 (eastern Detroit Lakes) Grimsley received 158 votes, Meyer got 149 votes, Halvorson received 118 votes, and Walz picked up 86 votes.

In Ward 3 (western Detroit Lakes) Grimsley received 171 votes, Meyer got 135 votes, Halvorson received 120 votes and Walz got 81 votes.

Detroit Township Precinct 2 is also part of the district for technical reasons, but the small “orphan” precinct has no residents.

“I’m pleased with the results,” Grimsley said in an interview, “and want to thank all the residents of the district who voted for me, and thank my family for giving me time to campaign. I want to win the confidence of those who voted for Walz and Halvorson, and hopefully I will be talking to them soon.”

Meyer said in an interview that he’s fired up over the primary election results.

“I was really excited about that,” he said. “It was great to see the people come out and vote – we had more people voting this primary than the last one.”

Meyer plans to do a lot of door-knocking in the next few months. “I’m going to try to see as many of those people (who voted for Halvorson and Walz) as possible,” he said. “I plan to get out and go door to door – I’m sure a lot of them don’t know me. I plan to tell them who I am and what I’m about. I need to meet them and talk to them, then I can hopefully win them over.”

He said he appreciated all the support in the primary election.

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“I want to publicly thank everybody who voted for me and supported me in the primary,” Meyer said. “I hope we can work together and get it done for the general election.”

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Darin Halvorson
Contributed/Darin Halvorson

Halvorson thanked his supporters and apologized to them for not being able to advance to the general election.

“I’m sorry I let the people down who voted for me,” he said. “And I just want to thank the civic workers who did the election. They did great, and it’s a thankless job.”

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Steve Walz
Contributed/Steve Walz

Walz said he wanted to “thank everyone who supported me,” and added “good luck to the two finalists.”

Neither Halvorson nor Walz is choosing to endorse a candidate in the general election at this time.

Hall, Jepson advance in Commissioner District 1

Height of Land Township supervisor Craig Hall dominated in the District 1 primary race for Becker County Board, receiving 576 votes, or 41% of the total in a three-way race.

“I’d love to thank everybody who supported me,” Hall said in an interview, “and I want to get out and meet as many people as possible. I want to listen to everything they have to say, and let them know I’ll represent them in a professional, respectable manner.”

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Craig Hall
Nathan Bowe/Tribune

Second-place winner Erica Jepson of Evergreen Township collected 438 votes, or 31%, to squeak out a tight win over Osage Township supervisor Tim Clements, who received 402 votes, or 28% with all precincts reporting.

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“I am pleased with the results of Tuesday’s elections,” Jepson said. “Tim Clements ran a great campaign. I reached out to him to discuss his platform, especially when it comes to the Sheriff's Department. I hope to be able to accomplish many of the things he hoped to accomplish as a Becker County commissioner.”

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Erica Jepson
Contributed/Erica Jepson

Jepson added that she is “excited to continue to meet with the citizens of Becker County District 1 and hear from them their concerns about issues, so that I know how to best advocate for their needs. I hope to continue to gain support so that I can become the next Becker County District 1 commissioner.”

As the top two vote-getters, Hall and Jepson will advance to the general election ballot on Nov. 8.

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Tim Clements
Contributed/Tim Clements

In a brief interview, Clements thanked his supporters and said he is considering endorsing one of the two finalists, and expects to release a statement within a few days.

Hall said it’s a challenge to campaign in such a large district – District 1 essentially covers the whole eastern half of Becker County – but he is going to put a lot of energy into it.

“It’s extremely, extremely difficult given the size of the territory,” he said. “It’s impossible to get around to see everyone,” and oftentime people aren’t home in the evenings when he campaigns after work. Hall hopes Clements' supporters will give him a chance. "We're both conservative and we have very similar values on many things," Hall said.

In the primary election Tuesday, Hall did especially well in his home township of Height of Land, where he got 96 votes, Jepson got 44 votes and Clements got 37 votes.

Jepson did especially well in Sugar Bush Township, where she got 62 votes, Hall got 29 votes and Clements received seven votes.

Clements, who is from Osage, did well in Osage Township, where he received 86 votes, Hall got 62 votes and Jepson collected 27 votes.

Here’s how the voting went in other precincts:

  • In Carsonville Township, Clements came out on top with 30 votes, Jepson came in second with 19 votes, and Hall received 15 votes.
  • In Eagle View Township, Clements received 10 votes, Hall got 9 votes and Jepson received 5 votes.
  • In Evergreen Township, where she lives, Jepson got 46 votes, Hall got 30 votes, and Clements 6 votes.
  • In Forest Township, Jepson got 27 votes, Clements received 19 votes and Hall got 9 votes.
  • In Green Valley Township, Clements got 29 votes, Hall got 25 votes and Jepson received nine votes.
  • In Pine Point Township, Hall received 9 votes, Jepson got 6 votes and Clements got 5 votes.
  • In Round Lake Township, Hall and Hepson each collected 15 votes and Clements received 6 votes.
  • In Runeberg Township, Hall received 43 votes, Clements got 17 votes and Jepson picked up 13 votes.
  • In Savannah Township, Jepson received 23 votes, Clements got 16 and Hall picked up 11 votes.
  • In Shell Lake Township, Hall received 33 votes, Clements got 30 votes and Jepson got 14 votes.
  • In Silver Leaf Township, Hall got 27 votes, Jepson 26 votes and Clements 19 votes.
  • In Spruce Grove Township, Hall got 49 votes, Jepson collected 23 votes and Clements picked up 13 votes.
  • In Toad Lake Township, Hall received 54 votes, Jepson got 49 votes and Clements received 23 votes.
  • In Two Inlets Township, Clements received 26 votes, Hall got 16 votes and Jepson picked up 10 votes.
  • In the city of Wolf Lake, Hall got 6 votes and Jepson got 5 votes.
  • In Wolf Lake Township, Hall received 38 votes,Clements got 23 votes and Jepson collected 15 votes.

Longtime District 1 Commissioner Larry Knutson did not file for reelection this year.

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