Recount verifies primary results in Murray CountyCarlson not ready to concede in county commission race
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
SLAYTON — It took less than two hours to recount ballots and determine Murray County Commissioner candidate Jamie Thomazin did survive the primaries by one vote and will go on to the general election in November — unless third place candidate Jeff Carlson finds an avenue of recourse.
There were five candidates listed on the District 2 ballot in Murray County, with the most votes, 143, going to incumbent Bob Moline. Thomazin came in second with 92 votes, and Carlson followed a close third with 91 votes. After the canvassing board verified the election results Wednesday, Carlson requested a recount of the seven townships and one city that make up District 2.
The canvass board will meet at 7:30 a.m. Monday to make the count official.
Even after the recount verified the numbers, Carlson is not ready to concede.
“I never give up,” he said. “I wouldn’t expect (Thomazin) to give up.”
Carlson said he will probably file the paperwork to pursue an election contest claim, which would go through the court system. The recount verified the number of votes, but any legal proceedings through the state would be to question the election judges’ decisions, such as spoiled ballots or ballots that had to be copied. Carlson has five days after the canvass board meets to file a claim.
“The election judges need to do a better job,” Carlson said. “There were people that said they were told to vote for two (candidates).”
Instructions on the ballot said to mark one candidate, but several were put aside that had a mark on front of more than one name. Those votes did not count.
Of the 1,020 people registered to vote in the District 2 race, 438 cast a ballot in the primary election, almost 42 percent.
“The turn-out was huge for a primary,” Carlson said. “But the votes show that (Moline) didn’t even carry his own backyard. About 60 percent voted against him. That means two-thirds of the people in the district aren’t happy with the decisions he made.”
Thomazin and Carlson said they are neighbors who get along well.
“We aren’t bitter, we’re just after the same goal,” Carlson explained.
“(Carlson) has a lot of new ideas,” Thomazin stated. “If I do get in, I hope he shares them with me.”
Both believe the problems and issues surrounding the sewer system at Lakes Shetek and Sarah had something to do with why so many people in that district filed to run for commissioner.
“That and decisions not thought completely through, that ending up costing more money to get done right.” Carlson said.
“Then there’s the grandstand, the Holt House,” Thomazin added.
Moline, who stopped in at the Government Center in Slayton to watch the recount, said he has no problem with any of the candidates and found it interesting to watch the recount procedure. He acknowledged he was surprised to learn so many others had filed for the District 2 seat.
“It makes me wonder if I did a good enough job,” he admitted. “The first two years were pretty tough, because of the sewer stuff. My wife had to remind me that I can’t make everyone happy.”
The time commitment needed to do a good job can be overwhelming, Moline said, but he has enjoyed the last four years and hopes to be re-elected so he can continue to serve Murray County.