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Lawson, Schmidt, Hinojos win WDC School Board race

John Edinger is given a voting ballot by a Second Precinct election judge Tuesday in Wadena's Memorial Auditorium. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal1 / 3
Alyssa Morlock and her Wadena-Deer Creek kindergarten class saw democracy in action during a Tuesday visit to Memorial Auditorium. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal2 / 3
Wanetta Taggart slipped her completed ballot into a vote counting machine as election judge Barb Umland stood by to help if needed. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Dan Lawson, Kent Schmidt and Vince Hinojos were the top three vote-getters Tuesday in the Wadena-Deer Creek School Board race. Four were running for three spots on the board.

Lawson garnered 2,099 votes (27.6 percent) with all of the district's 21 precincts reporting. Incumbent Schmidt edged Hinojos for the second spot gaining 1,964 votes (25.82) to Hinojos' 1,836 (24.4 percent). Damlo made it a close four-way race with 1,682 votes (22.11 percent).

Vince Hinojos

Hinojos has worked as a Network Engineer at Tri-County Health Care for the past 11 years. He's the Chair of the WDC Education Foundation Board and has served as a basketball coach and a youth LEGO robotics instructor at WDC. He and his wife, Michelle (who is also employed at TCHC), have three children - a daughter who graduated from WDC in 2015 and two children currently attending WDC High School. Hinojos is the Immediate Past President of the Wadena Lions Club, a youth leader at Wadena Alliance Church and board member/tech support at Cyber Café in Wadena.

Dan Lawson

Lawson is Manager/Sales Rep at Wadena Drywall Supply, where he's worked for the past 25 years. He and his wife, Melissa, (who is employed at Tri-County Health Care) have three grown children, all graduates of WDC High School, and three grandchildren, two who attend WDC Elementary and WDC Preschool. Lawson is very involved in the WDC Wrestling Booster Club and WDC Elementary Wrestling program. In addition, he is a longtime member of the WDC Football chain gang and he and Melissa (Kern) are both graduates of Wadena High School. He currently serves on the St. Ann's Catholic Church Parish Council.

Kent Schmidt

A stay-at-home dad, Schmidt and his wife, Shaneen (a physician at Tri-County Health Care), have four children who attend WDC. Before starting a family, Schmidt worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and University of Minnesota-Duluth. Schmidt currently serves as Vice Chair on the WDC School Board, as well as Chair of the WDC Community Education Advisory Committee. He is also one of the charter members of the WDC Elementary PTO. He currently serves on the Share-A-Home Board, Family Service Collaborative Board, Immanuel Lutheran Church Council and a member of the Wadena Rotary Club. In addition, he is a tutor and substitute teacher for the school district.

Wadena City Council

In the Wadena City Council race, Wade Miller and Jessie Gibbs won the two city council seats in the three-way race. Miller had 1,236 votes (45.13 percent) and Gibbs had 774 votes (28.26 percent). Toby Pierce, who has previously served on the city council, had 700 votes (25.56 percent).

Wade Miller

Second-term Mayor George Deiss was running unopposed and had 1,530 votes (95.8 percent). The remaining 4.2 percent of votes were write-ins.

George Deiss

Wadena County Commissioner

Jim Hofer beat Ralph Miller in District 2 with 655 votes to Miller's 597 votes. There were 110 write-in votes.

Chuck Horsager won the District 4 seat over Murlyn Kreklau with 694 votes to Kreklau's 654 votes with 6 write-in votes.

State Senate District 9

In State Senate District 9, Republican candidate Paul Gazelka was won the seat against DFL candidate Jason Weinerman. Gazelka had 71.19 percent of the vote with 27,738 votes while Weinerman had 28.71 percent of the vote with 11,188 votes. Gazelka is a business owner and state senator. He has served two terms as state senator and one term in the House of Representatives.

State Representative District 9A

Republican candidate John Poston won the State Representative District 9A seat over DFLer Meg Litts. Poston had 68.52 percent of the vote with 13,293 votes while Litts had 31.32 percent with 6,076 votes. Poston is the mayor of the city of Lake Shore and co-owner 3 Cheers Hospitality.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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