Voters in Ward and area counties will be deciding some local races and making their choices in a state primary election Tuesday.
Ward County polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Minot polling places serve the four quandrants of the city as divided by Central Avenue and Main Street and are located at Lewis and Clark School in the northwest, the Church of Christ in the northeast, Maysa Arena in the southwest and First Assembly of God Church in the southeast.
In Minot’s city election, former city council member Chuck Barney, director of the Severson Entreprenuership Academy at Minot State University, is running alone on the ballot. However, Kevin Mehrer, a Minot native and district executive for the Northern Lights Council of the Boys Scouts, has mounted a write-in challenge.
In Williston, Ward Koeser is stepping down as commission president. Stepping up to try to replace him are a life-long Williston resident and two residents who have moved to the city since the oil boom began. Howard Klug, the long-time resident and a current city commissioner, is a hotel part-owner. Jim Purkey, a former archeologist, works for a lumber company, and Marcus Jundt is chairman of a restaurant holding company.
In Crosby, Kaye Lynn Anderson and former mayor Bert Anderson are challenging Mayor Leslie Bakken for his seat.
A few area counties will have run-off elections for sheriff.
Only two will advance in Pierce County, where incumbent Matthew Lunde is challenged by Ward County deputy Josh Siegler and former Rugby police chief Luis Coca.
In McKenzie County, four candidates are on the ballot for sheriff, and two will advance. Deputy Troy White Owl of Watford City and Sgt. Matthew Johansen of Keene, both with the sheriff’s department, are running along with Gary Schwartzenberger of Watford City, who formerly was with the sheriff’s office. Christian Jones of Arnegard also is on the ballot, although he has indicated that he has withdrawn.
In Burke County, deputy Michael Cude and Cpl. Jeremy Grohs along with former deputy Shawn Brien are competing to be the two to advance in the sheriff’s race to November.
In Rolette County, the sheriff’s run-off is among three deputies, Gerald Medrud, Joseph Kaufman and Ervin Charette, as well as George Miller.
There are no run-off elections in Ward County that would eliminate any candidates.
Candidates are: county commission, John Fjeldahl, Larry Louser and Kari Lee Conrad; state’s attorney, Rozanna Larson; sheriff, Steve Kukowski; Garrison Diversion Conservancy director, Alan Walter; and official newspaper, The Minot Daily News. Also on the no-party ballot are Gerald Vandewalle, justice of the Supreme Court, and Doug Mattson, judge of North Central Judicial District.
Voters may vote only one ticket in the party primary, where there are no run-off races this year.
The primary election ballot is headed by U.S. House candidates Congressman Kevin Cramer on the Republican ticket and George Sinner on the Democratic ticket.
Other Republican candidates are Al Jaeger, secretary of State; Wayne Stenehjem, attorney general; Doug Goehring, agriculture commissioner; Brian Kalk and Julie Fedorchak, Public Service Commission; and Ryan Rauschenberger, tax commissioner.
The Democratic ticket includes April Fairfield, secretary of state; Kiara Kraus-Parr, attorney general; Ryan Taylor, agriculture commissioner; Todd Reisenauer and Tyler Axness, Public Service Commission; and Jason Astrup, tax commissioner.
Libertarian candidates are Robert “Jack” Seaman for House, Roland Riemers for secretary of state and Anthony Mangnall for tax commissioner.
Legislative candidates are on the ballot in Districts 3 and 5 in the Minot area.
District 3 candidates are Republicans Oley Larsen for Senate and Andrew Maragos and Roscoe Streyle for House and Democrats Lisa Wolf for Senate and Lee Snyder and Cindy Wilhelm for House;
District 5 candidates are Democrats Bill Klimpel for Senate and Heidi Rintoul and Judy Vendsel for House and Republicans Randy Burckhard for Senate and Roger Brabandt and Scott Louser for House.
In the city of Minot, council races exist in Ward 1 between David Lehner and Robert Timm and in Ward 4 between Scott Knudsvig and Miranda Schuler. Other candidates are: Ward 2, Benjamin Berg; Ward 3, Dean Frantsvog; Ward 4, Milton Miller; Ward 6, Dave Pankow; Ward 7, Lisa Olson; and municipal judge, Mark Rasmuson.
Three will be elected to the Minot Park Board from a field that includes Charles Emery, Nancy Beck, Richard Sabol and Connie Feist. Two school board members will be chosen from among Laura Mihalick, Lachelle Smith, Steve Velk and Chris Baker.
Minot voters will determine whether to continue publishing city meeting minutes in the official newspaper.
Statewide, voters will decide a measure that amends the state constitution to change the filing deadline for initiated measures from 90 days to 120 days before a statewide election. Any challenges regarding measure petitions would have to be filed with the Supreme Court no later than 75 days before the election.
The state constitution originally required filing 120 days before a statewide election. The requirement changed to 90 days days in 1978 when voters approved a comprehensive rewrite of the constitution’s intiative provisions.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger said 120 days allows more time for possible challenges to petitions or appeals of the secretary of state’s decisions on petitions. In 2010, the Supreme Court narrowly issued a ruling on a pharmacy initiative before ballots had to be certified, and in 2012, the deadline to finalize the ballot came before sponsors of a marijuana initiative could appeal the secretary of state’s determination that petition signatures were inadequate. However, the court ruled against the initiative sponsors in the end.
The North Dakota Watchdog Network, a conservative group that opposes Measure 1, argues that no situations have occurred that negatively affected any group or that would warrant a change. The group also has stated the measure will eliminate the ability of petitions circulators to use the State Fair or Valley City Winter Show in an election year to collect signatures to get measures on the ballot that fall.
Rep. Andrew Maragos, R-Minot, who led a lottery initiative a number of years ago, disagreed that having the State Fair as a petition venue is critical to the grassroots endeavors. Maragos, a sponsor of the legislative resolution putting Measure 1 on the ballot, said he believes the extra time provided in the measure will ensure the the initiative process is run responsibly. But he added the issue of when petitions should be filed depends on what citizens think is appropriate, and they will decide on Tuesday.