Voters have plenty of choices on November 7

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Area voters will have plenty of choices when they go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 7, as they cast their ballots for local, county and state races.


New Prague

In New Prague one of the biggest local races in recent is for the office of mayor. Incumbent Craig S. Sindelar is facing four challengers for another two-year term. They are Bink Bender, Jeffrey Drabant, Travis Kabes and Paula Abdo Nelson.

The New Prague City Council has four people running for two four-year terms. Incumbents Rob Babione and Kay Wilcox are seeking reelection, while Charles Aldrich and Jennifer Flicek are also on the ballot.


Elko New Market

East of New Prague, history is being made as the communities of Elko and New Market will become one on January 1, 2007. This is the first election for the Elko New Market City Council with nine people running for the five council seats.

There are two people running for the office of mayor for the newly organized city. Current Elko Mayor Kent Hartzler is facing New Market resident Henry Zweber in that race.

For city council, three incumbents have filed for two four-year terms. Running are Dennis Melgaard of Elko and Joe Molitor and Josh Storlie of New Market.

Four people have filed for two two-year terms on the council. Incumbent Jason Ponsonby of New Market is one of those candidates. Others are Linda Borgen and Carolyn Miller of Elko and Millie Theilmann of New Market. At the end of the two years, the two seats will become four-year terms, allowing for staggered seats on the council.


Heidelberg

Two people have filed for three open seats on the Heidelberg City Council. They are Kevin Zvanovec and Randy Odenthal.


Helena Township

Helena Township has three seats on this year's ballot. Two incumbents are running for another term on the board of supervisors. They are Terry Maas and Joseph F. Pexa.

Incumbent Patricia Lambrecht is seeking another term as Township Treasurer, and she is unopposed.


Scott County

In Scott County, there is only one race in the New Prague area and that is for the District 1 County Commissioner seat. In a repeat of the last two elections, Joe Wagner, the incumbent, is facing former Commissioner Ralph Malz. Voters in the New Prague area will also see four races where the candidates are unchallenged. They are Pat Ciliberto for County Attorney, Kevin Studnicka for Sheriff and Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors are James Fitzsimmons of District 4 and Jim Schwingler of District 5. All are incumbents except Studnicka, who is a deputy in the department. Current Sheriff Dave Menden is not running for reelection.

There are two other commissioner seats on the ballot. In District 3 (Shakopee) incumbent Jerry Hennen is facing a challenge from Todd A. Anderson, while in District 5 (Savage area) incumbent Jon Ulrich is unopposed.


Le Sueur County

In Le Sueur County, all incumbent officers are running unopposed for four-year terms. They include Auditor Ron Germscheid, Treasurer Joseph M. Boettcher, Recorder David Sexe, Sheriff David Gliszinski, Attorney Brent Christian and Surveyor Rory Jensen.

There are three commissioner races on the ballot. In District 2, incumbent Joseph Connelly of Le Sueur is being challenged by Jim Losinski of Cleveland. In District 4, incumbent Robert Bob Culhane of Waterville is being challenged by Larry Hohnstadt of Waterville, and in District 5, Wm. Bill Stangler of St. Peter is being challenged by Barron Graffing of Madison Lake.


Rice County

In Rice County, Sheriff Richard Cook is seeking another four-year term, and is being challenged by Mark Murphy. Incumbent Auditor/Treasurer Fran Windschitl and Attorney G. Paul Beaumaster are running unopposed for another term.

In Commissioner District 2, in the Northfield area, two candidates are seeking to replace Jessica Peterson, who is running for the State Senate. They are Galen Malecha and Betsey Buckheit. In District 4, incumbent Steven Bauer of Faribault is unopposed.


State

There are five legislative races of local interest. In District 25A,which includes all of Le Sueur County as well as parts of Scott and Sibley counties, incumbent Laura Brod (R-New Prague) is facing Tim Siebsen (DFL-Montgomery). In District 25B, which includes northern Rice County and parts of southern Scott County, incumbent Ray Cox (R-Northfield) is facing David Bly (DFL-Northfield). In the District 25 Senate race incumbent Tom Neuville (R-Northfield) is up against Jessica Peterson (DFL-Northfield). In the District 35B House race, which includes much of Scott County, including New Market township and the cities of Elko and New Market, incumbent Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) is begin challenged by Taylor Kristoffe-Jones (DFL-Savage). In the District 35 Senate race, incumbent Sen. Claire Robling (R-Jordan) is unopposed.

In the First District Court judicial races, most incumbents are unopposed, but there is one exception, as incumbent Michael Savre is facing attorney Scott Newman.

Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor have representatives from six parties. The incumbents are Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau. Challengers include Mike Hatch and Judi Dutcher of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Peter Hutchinson and Maureen Reed of the Independence Party, Ken Pentel and Danene Provencher of the Green Party, Leslie Davis and Gregory K. Soderberg of the American Party and Walt E. Brown and Wesley C. Nelson of Quit Raising Taxes.

Secretary of State has incumbent Mary Kiffmeyer (R) facing Mark Ritchie (DFL), Joel Spoonheim (IP) and Bruce Kennedy (For Independent Voters.)

The State Auditor office is a race between incumbent Patricia Anderson (R), Rebecca Otto (DFL), Lucy Gerold (IP) and Dave Berger (G).

For the office of Attorney General, which is being vacated by Hatch, candidates are Lori Swanson (DFL), Jeff Johnson (R), John James (IP) and Papa John Kolstad (G).

Voters are also being asked about making an amendment to the state constitution. The question is should the motor vehicle sales tax go directly toward highways and public transit. If approved, the money from the tax would be phased out of other programs over a five-year period.


Federal

Races for Federal offices also have several candidates, as there are three candidates for U.S. Representative of District 2. incumbent John Kline (R) is facing challengers Coleen Rowley (DFL) and Douglas Williams (IP).

There are five candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Mark Dayton. They are Michael James Cavlan (G), Robert Fitzgerald (IP), Mark Kennedy (R), Amy Klobuchar (DFL) and Ben Powers (Constitution Party).

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