By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
A number of contested races in this year’s General Election next Tuesday should increase the amount of interest and turnout.
Voting in Nov. 2 election will begin at 7 a.m. MT at five different sites in Chase County. The polls close at 7 p.m. MT.
This year’s election features races at the federal, state, county, city and school levels.
County, legislative races
At the county level, two races has drawn considerable interest—county sheriff and District 3 commissioner.
Incumbent County Sheriff Tim Sutherland will run on the Republican ticket against challenger Kevin Mueller.
Sutherland emerged as the Republican candidate in the Primary Election in May.
Mueller got on the Chase County ballot by petition so the pair will face off for the sheriff’s position.
In the District 3 commissioner race, Republican incumbent Don Weiss, Jr., will face off against Democratic challenger Joe Langin. Only residents in that district cast votes in the race.
The race for the nonpartisan 44th District legislative seat represents another race that should bring voters to the polls.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial will face off with Tom Baker of Trenton, himself a former state senator.
The two candidates advanced to the General Election, even though both of their names appeared on the Primary Election ballot.
The 44th District includes the counties of Chase, Perkins, Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock, Frontier, Red Willow and Furnas, along with a portion of Dawson County.
City, village, school races
In Imperial, city residents will elect a new mayor along with two council members.
For mayor, voters will decide between Dwight Coleman and Derek Russell. Current Mayor Annie Longan was defeated in the Primary.
Two city council seats will be up for election amongst four candidates. They include incumbents Chad Yaw and Lynn Luhrs and challengers John Arterburn and Junior Reeder.
In Wauneta, three incumbents on the village board are running unopposed. They include Tony Cribelli, Ted Grimm and Beau Kramer.
In the race for the Chase County Schools board of education, four incumbents and four challengers will vie for four open seats.
Incumbents include Bob Milner, Penny Strand, Todd Burpo and Dirk Haarberg.
Those challenging for school board seats include Willy O’Neil, Dan Reeves, Jeff Olsen and Kelly Clevenger.
In the Wauneta-Palisadeschool district election, three candidates are running unopposed for three seats. They include incumbents Bill Bischoff and Allison Sandman, along with newcomer Laurie Maris.
In the Perkins County School district election, six candidates are running for three open seats.
Those running include Scott Osler, Amy Kroeker, Michaela Potts, Shawn Stutzman, Ryan Hendricks and Jill Pelster.
Other contested races
All but one race for the Upper Republican Natural Resources District board are uncontested.
In Subdistrict 10 in Perkins County, incumbent Greg Pelster of Elsie is being challenged by Brett Bullock of Madrid.
In the 3rd District Congressional race, incumbent Republican Adrian Smith will face Democratic challenger Rebekah Davis.
At the state level, there will be contested races for the political offices of governor, secretary of state, state treasurer and state auditor.
On the nonpartisan ballot, there are contested races for the District 7 seats for the university regents board and state board of education.
Two amendments offered
Nebraskans will also decide on two proposed constitutional amendments.
Amendment 1 would allow cities and villages to fund economic and industrial development activities with state and federal money.
Presently, such projects can only be financed with local taxes.
Amendment 2 would eliminate the state treasurer’s office as of Jan. 15, 2015.
Early voting underway
Early voting has been underway for several weeks in Nebraska, with key deadlines hitting over the next week.
Wednesday, Oct. 27, was the last day that early voting ballots could be mailed out to voters. Those ballots must be returned to the clerk’s office by Nov. 2.
Monday, Nov. 1, is the last day to vote early, in person, at the clerk’s office. All other voting must be done on Nov. 2 at the various precinct sites.