Moorhead voters favor incumbents in local & area races

Voters were already in line at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday in the Center Mall waiting for the polling place to open at 7. Photo/Andrew Nielsen.

Moorhead voters re-elected incumbent state legislators and members of the Moorhead City Council, Moorhead School Board and Clay County Commission Tuesday, along with newcomers to fill several open seats.
Heather Keeler will be going to St. Paul to fill the District 4A House seat formerly held by fellow DFLer Ben Lien, who did not run for a fifth term. Heather, in her first run for public office, received 11,475 votes, 56.65% of the total. Republican Edwin Hahn came in at 43.18% with 8,746 votes.
Incumbents Paul Marquart and Kent Eken retained their seats. Rep. Marquart of Dilworth won his 11th term with 52.73% of the tally, or 12,013, versus Republican Brian Anderson, who received 10,758 (47.22%). Sen. Kent Eken, a resident of Twin Valley, retained his position in District 4 with 54.52% of Tuesday’s vote totaling 23,312, easily outpacing Republican challenger Mark Larson’s 19,404 (45.38%).
Two incumbent city council members held onto the seats both first won in 2019. In Ward 3, Larry Seljevold received 70.21% of the vote (2,970) to earn another four years, while John Bell came in with 29.31% (1,240).
Ward 4 council member Steve Lindaas won a full four-year term with 45.70% (2,182), defeating challengers Dave Anderson, 37.17% (1,775) and Jeremiah D. Jones, 16.42% (784).
Ward 2 elected the only candidate on the ballot, Laura Caroon, to replace retiring two-term member Heidi Durand. But the race to replace Sara Watson Curry, who declined to run for a second term, was a different story. Five first-time candidates competed for the Ward 1 council seat. Matthew Gilbertson came out on top with 33.94% of the vote (1,370), followed by Kristine A. Thompson with 20.98% (847); Ryan T. Jensen, 19.4% (783); Alexa Dixson-Griggs, 18.36% (741); and Quindlynn Overland, 6.19% (250).
Clay County commissioner Frank Gross, who currently chairs the five-member body, was elected without opposition in District 2. So was newcomer David Ebinger, who will represent District 5. In the only contested race, Jenna Kahly was elected with 57.78% of the vote (2,708); opponent Benjamin Hammer received 1,947 votes (41.54%).
Eight men and women competed for four seats on the school board in District No. 152 in Moorhead. All four incumbents retained their positions: current board president Cassidy Bjorklund with 10,185 (18.11%); Scott Steffes, 9,403 (16.72%); Matt Valan, 8,991 (15.98%); and Melissa Burgard, 8,982 (15.97%). The top challenger, David Marquardt, garnered 8,188 votes (14.43%). Other candidates and their vote totals include Shawn Stumphf, 3,960 (7.04%); Ezzat Haider, 3,584 (6.37%); and Thaddeus Laugisch, 2,781 (4.94%).
– Nancy Edmonds Hanson

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