Ballots for the 2012 General Election have been counted and the unofficial results have been published by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.
Locally, Mayor Harold “Pete” Pedersen regained his position in a landslide decision with more than 80 percent of the vote (1,027 ballots) versus challenger Martin Shir’s nearly 19 percent (240 votes).
Milaca City Council members Ken Muller with 859 votes and Dave Dillan with 899 ballots also return to their seats. The two were the only ones running for the two open offices.
Independent School District 912 School Board members Aimee Struffert (3,172 votes), Jeff Larson (3,145 votes) and Bryan Rensenbrink (3,257 votes) will return to the board. The school district levy question passed by more than 1,000 votes with 3,381 ballots in favor and 2,172 votes against.
Mille Lacs County Commissioner Jack Edmonds was narrowly defeated by challenger Genny Reynolds, who earned 51.75 percent of the votes (1,005) to his 47.63 percent (925 votes) for District 1. In District 2, incumbent Dan Whitcomb (45.38 percent) was also beat by challenger Tim Wilhelm (54.30 percent) by 1,125 votes to 1,346. In the slimmest margin of victory at the county level, District 3 incumbent Phil Peterson will return to the board, having secured 50,71 percent (1,148 votes) versus challenger Laurie Gahm’s 48.9 percent (1,107 votes). In District 5, incumbent Roger Tellinghuisen easily won reelection with 69.47 percent of ballots (1,732 votes) against opponent Greg McQuay’s 30 percent (748 votes). Two candidates sought the seat in District 6, where sitting commission Frank Courteau decided not to seek reelection. David Oslin won the seat with 57.93 percent of ballots (1,490 votes) versus Bill Hill’s 41.76 percent (1,074 votes).
At the state level, incumbent Republican Sen. Dave Brown was reelcted to his Senate District 15 seat with more than 56 percent of the vote (21,906 votes) versus newcomer DFL challenger Sally Knox’s 43 percent of the vote (16,768 ballots).
Voters in Minnesota House District 15A returned Republican Rep. Sondra Erickson to her post with 52 percent of the vote (10,014 ballots) versus DFL challenger Joe Walsh’s 47 percent (9,089 votes), with a slim margin of victory with just 925 votes in favor of the sitting representative.
Elsewhere in the state, incumbent Republican state lawmakers were defeated by their DFL challengers, giving the Minnesota Legislature a Democrat majority. It is the first time since 1990 that the state executive and legislative branches were held by Democrats.
The first state to do so, Minnesota voted against the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. With 1,399,111 votes in favor and just 47.65 percent of the state ballots, the amendment failed. More than 1.5 million Minnesotans cast a no vote on the question.
The voter ID amendment was also rejected by voters with a difference of 1,361,598 voting in favor and 1,534,847 voting against. With just 47.65 percent voting yes, the amendment also failed.
At the national level, Democrat incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar easily won reelection with 65 percent of the vote (1.8 million votes) against Republican challenger Kurt Bill’s 30 percent (73,442 ballots).
Eighth District Rep. Chip Cravaack was the only national delegate from Minnesota to lose his reelection bid with 45 percent of the vote (159,959 ballots) versus Democrat challenger Rick Nolan’s 54 percent (191,761 votes).
Minnesota turned blue once again with its electoral votes going to President Barrack Obama. The incumbent garnered 52 percent of the popular vote in the state (1.5 million votes) versus Republican opponent Gov. Mitt Romney’s 45 percent (1.3 million votes.) Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson earned 1 percent of the Minnesota vote.
These results remain unofficial until the state canvassing board meets Tuesday, Nov. 27 to approve the final numbers.