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Primary election, candidate filings

The turnout for primary elections in Minnesota is noticeably low, hovering around the mark of 10 percent of registered voters heading toward the polls.
Were it not for our local races, the ballot in McLeod County would be remarkably bland, with just a race for a Republican candidate for U.S. Congressional District 7 in Minnesota, and another for a Supreme Court associate justice.
But this year, enough candidates have filed in two McLeod County commissioner districts to warrant a primary election. And the city of Hutchinson has four candidates who filed for a city council seat.
The primary election will pare down the number of candidates to two in each race to face off in the general election in November. Currently, there are three candidates vying in each of Districts 3 and 4 in McLeod County’s commissioner districts. And each of those districts extend into a portion of the city of Hutchinson, so voter turnout in that city should far outpace that of the state average.
It’s exciting that there is enough interest in grassroots politics that those races have been forced into a primary election to pare the number of candidates. So many times, we’ve been fortunate to have one candidate on the ballot, much less several.
The primary election isn’t the only reason to focus on the local political scene right now. Filings for candidacy also opened Tuesday for townships with November elections, the city of Glencoe and other area cities, and the Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board.
Area townships which have openings for candidates are Acoma, Bergen, Helen, Rich Valley, Sumter, Winsted and Glencoe. Bergen is seeking candidates for a supervisor and a treasurer. Rich Valley, Glencoe and Sumter are looking for candidates for two supervisors and one treasurer. Helen Township is seeking a candidate for a supervisor. Residents of those townships can contact their respective township clerks to file for candidacy.
In the city of Glencoe, the terms of Mayor Randy Wilson and Precinct 1 Councilor Daniel Perschau and Precinct 4 Councilor Kevin Dietz are up for election. On Tuesday, the first day that filings opened, Wilson and Dietz filed their affidavits of candidacy. Affidavits for candidacy are available at the city offices.
The Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board also had one filing on Tuesday, as incumbent Jamie Alsleben put his name back on the ballot. Also up for election are the seats held by Kevin Kuester and Donna VonBerge. Others interested in filing should contact the school district office.
Our surrounding communities of Plato, Brownton, Silver Lake, New Auburn and Stewart also have openings.
Again, it’s exciting to see the early filings — filings are open through Aug. 16. Again, it shows an interest in local government and the betterment of our local townships, communities and school district.
From the presidential race on down to the local townships, this election season is shaping up to be a very interesting one.
We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the primary election, and to seeing even more names on the local ballot.