Incumbents Dan Holub and Randy Dallke appear to have won county commission races in Tuesday’s primary election, although the race for Holub’s chair was closer than the one for Dallke’s.
The election was closely watched by eager onlookers gathered in the courthouse to see the final tally.
Poll workers filtered in with ballots stuffed in blue wheeled satchels while spectators watched and discussed who they hoped would win, and who might lose.
In the district 2 commission race, Holub got 323 votes, barely edging runner-up Michael Beneke, Lincolnville, with 295. Brett Hajek, Lost Springs, got 191.
“That’s close — apparently about half the people are content with what I do and over half are not,” Holub said when he heard the results. “Obviously I’m going to have to do better. That’s over half the voters, so I’m going to have to figure out where I’m going wrong and make some adjustments. I can’t ignore that.”
Beneke, a former county employee, said he’s unhappy with how the county is being run and roads are being maintained.
“I was mad more than four years ago,” Beneke said. “I think every department needs looking at from a common sense approach. Is the commission going to continue to micro-manage all these things in the county? I don’t accept excuses. I never have — I don’t accept them for myself. Long-range plans are just as important as day to day operations.”
In district 3, Dallke won handily with 324 votes. Challengers Amy Soyez, Marion, and Stephen Rose, Peabody, got 179 and 84 votes respectively.
“The race is not over until the last vote is in,” Dallke said. “There’s an independent candidate filed for each district who will go against the winners of tonight’s race. It’s good that we’ve had people get involved in this election. A lot of times, nobody gets involved. I will do the best I can until the end of my term. That’s all anyone can do is the best for Marion County.”
County clerk Tina Spencer said 226 county residents voted early and 82 voted by mail.
Election results won’t be final until votes are canvassed by commissioners.
Marion County mirrored statewide voting in the U.S. House of Representatives District 1 election. In both county and state voting, challenger Roger Marshall got 51 percent of the vote to upset incumbent Tim Huelskamp.