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2 incumbents and a challenger elected to District 518 school board

Incumbent Mike Harberts chose not to run for reelection this year, so the three will join Brad Shaffer, Tom Prins, Steve Schnieder and Joel Lorenz as board members.

District 518 School Board candidates Lori Dudley (from left), Erin Schutte, LaDean "Butch" Fletcher and Adam Blume address those gathered for a Candidate Forum Tuesday evening at the Worthington Event Center.
District 518 School Board candidates Lori Dudley (from left), Erin Schutte, LaDean "Butch" Fletcher and Adam Blume address those gathered for a Candidate Forum Tuesday evening at the Worthington Event Center.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — Two incumbents and one newcomer were elected Tuesday to serve on the District 518 Board of Education.

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Those elected were challenger Erin Schutte, who earned 2,607, or 29.78% of the total vote, incumbent Adam Blume with 2,470 votes or 28.22% of the vote and incumbent Lori Ann Dudley with 2,297 or 26.24% of the total. Challenger LaDean “Butch” Fletcher lost out with 1,327 votes, composing 15.16% of the total.

“I am honored to have the community’s trust in me as a future school board member,” Schutte said. “I am extremely grateful for the numerous supporters who encouraged me and poured their energy and optimism into my campaign. Now I am ready to get to work.”

Schutte, a WHS graduate who grew up in rural Rushmore, owns Kivu Immigration Law in Worthington. She is a local attorney and community advocate.

She said her next objective as a new school board member will be to work on staff retention.

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“Education, education, education,” Blume said, answering what future investments he’d make for the district in a candidate questionnaire published by the Globe in October. “I think Covid set our kids back and we still need to keep progressing them forward plus keeping them on track to their future graduation.”

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Schutte

Blume, who has a degree in ag business from Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, is a cattle producer and farms corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.

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Blume
District 518

“Thank you, a heartfelt thank you, not only for your support this term but for the past 20 years,” Dudley said after the results were in. “I’m very humbled by the support of the District 518 voters.”

Dudley is in her 20th year as a member of the District 518 school board, and all four of her children attended school in the district. She currently serves as board chairwoman.

She said her next objective as a school board member will be to get a new operating referendum passed, after determining what the district will need in the coming years. The current operating levy runs out in 2024.

Incumbent Mike Harberts chose not to seek reelection. The three elected Tuesday will join Brad Shaffer, Tom Prins, Steve Schnieder and Joel Lorenz as board members.

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Dudley

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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