By Emilie Olsen
On Nov. 2, some Saint Mary’s University students participated in local and state elections.
Minnesota’s governor race has led to a recount. Democrat Mark Dayton had 45.64 percent of the vote in Winona County, to republican Tom Emmer’s 43.85 percent, within the margin of error. Percentages were even closer statewide, where Emmer gained 43.21 percent and Dayton received 43.63 percent of the vote. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is willing to extend his term if the recount continues until 2011, as he contemplates running for U.S. president in 2012.
Incumbent democrat Gene Pelowski won the position of State Representative for District 31-A in the Minnesota House. Pelowski received 7,527 votes to republican Rhett Zenke’s 5,499 votes. Democrats have lost the four year majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans will host at least 239 seats to the Democrats’ 188.
Incumbent DLF Sharon Erickson Ropes was defeated in her race for State Senator for District 31. Republican Jeremy Miller received 13,981 votes and Ropes received 13,544 votes in a close race. Despite the lost, democrats will remain with a 53 to 46 majority in the U.S. Senate.
Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand defeated Rodney Hanson easily with 10,295 votes to 3,528. Brand has remained sheriff since 1998, now serving his fourth consecutive term.
Winona City Council member Gerry Krage was re-elected to the Second Ward seat, with 926 votes to 695 votes for challenger Pete Tlougan. Krage has served for 25 years on the council. Michelle Alexander won the other City Council race for the at-large seat over Bruce Reed, with 4,076 votes to 3,923 votes. Council member George Borzyskowski ran for the Fourth Ward seat unopposed, gaining 1,917 votes with only 25 opposing write-in votes.
Incumbent Stacy Mounce Arnold lost her bid for an at-large seat on the Winona Area Public School (WAPS) Board. Arnold finished third with 5,187 votes. Winners Jay Kohner and Ben Baratto received 7,008 votes and 6,707 votes, respectively. In fourth place, Fred Peterson received 3,903 votes.
The WAPS referendum passed with 7,469 yes votes to 5,090 no votes. The operations levy will extend for another six years at six-million dollars a year.
From the first district for the WAPS Board, SMU professor Steve Schild beat incumbent Ted Hazelton. In the second district, Mohammed Elhindi was elected with 956 votes against opponent Trina Moynaugh, who pulled out of the race in October, still receiving 652 votes.
Public defender Karin Sonnerman is the new Winona County Attorney, receiving 8,205 votes to Kevin O’Laughlin’s 7,687 votes.