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Vickerman ousted in Murray County

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Six contested county commissioner primaries took place Tuesday in southwest Minnesota outside of Nobles County, with at least one race offering an upset of sorts.

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Kevin Vickerman, a two-term Murray County commissioner, placed third in the four-man District 1 race, ensuring he will not be in office for an additional term.

Here are the primary results by county:

Cottonwood County

Kevin Stevens, who has worked for more than 36 years in Windom's Public Utilities Water Department, was easily the top vote-getter, garnering 55.58 percent of the ballots (224 votes) in the District 2 primary race.

Jack Kelly, who taught industrial arts and coached at Windom High School for 34 years and owns and operates his own irrigation/landscaping business, placed second with 99 votes (24.57 percent).

Stevens and Kelly will vie to fill the Cottonwood County Board of Commissioners seat being vacated by Ron Keucker, who is closing out his third term.

Eliminated from convention Tuesday was Ken Fast, who works in ag business sales and management. He received 80 votes (19.85 percent).

Jackson County

William Tusa, initially elected to the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in 1998, will get the opportunity to seek a second-four year term after collecting 88 votes (45.13 percent) on Tuesday. Tusa's previous local government experience includes nine years as treasurer of Middletown Township.

Placing second in the primary was Minneota Township farmer Richard Erickson, who picked up 58 votes (29.74 percent). Among the boards Erickson has previously served on are the Minneota Township Board (12 years), as well as the Lakefield and Jackson County Central school boards.

Mike Handzus, a Lakefield farmer, was third with 49 votes (25.13 percent).

Murray County

Vickerman garnered 102 votes (25.95 percent in placing third behind Jamie Thomazin and James Jens.

Thomazin, who has worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for 29 years, totaled 133 votes (33.8 percent) to place first. He is also currently a Mason Township Supervisor and a supervisor on the Shetek Area Sewer and Water Commission.

James Jens, a former Currie city councilman and mayor, had 115 votes (29.26 percent) for second place. Following third-place Vickerman was Jeff Carlson (43 votes, 10.94 percent)

In a three-way race to replace outgoing District 5 commissioner Bill Sauer, Roger Zins and Dave Thiner got the most votes.

Zins, a grain and livestock farmer and trucker, picked up 162 votes, or 48.8 percent of the total. His experience includes 11 years as a Bondin Township Supervisor.

Thiner, a former Fulda City Council member for 20 years and owner of Thiner Electric, accumulated 124 votes (37.35 percent). That total outdistanced Tim Strenge, also a former Fulda City Council member, who received 46 votes (13.86 percent).

Pipestone County

A four-way race for the District 3 seat saw Bruce Kooiman and Craig Vreeman move onward to November.

Kooiman, who retired two years ago after a 40-year career with VanderStoep Furniture Inc., led the way with 204 votes (52.85 percent). Behind him in second place was Craig Vreeman, the owner of Edgerton's Pizza Ranch (89 votes, 23.6 percent).

Richard Muyskens, currently a groundskeeper and maintenance for Pipestone County, was third with 51 votes (13.21 percent). Rick Fey (42 votes, 10.88 percent) was fourth.

In District 5, incumbent commissioner Jerry Remund picked up 64 votes (45.71 percent) to lead a three-way race. Remund has served on the county board for eight years and has served with numerous committees and organization in both the county and city of Pipestone over the course of more than 40 years.

Remund is slated to face Eudell "Del" Coleman in the November election. Coleman, a retired police officer, got 41 votes (29.29 percent), six more than Erv Pribyl (35 votes, 25 percent).

All vote totals are unofficial until final canvassing.

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