By Adam Strunk
While voters chose in a landslide to legalize Sunday beer sales, that’s about all that was officially decided during Tuesday’s general election. The school board and city remained too close to call as of press time.
For Newton, it appears Richard Stinnett at least has won a city commission seat and likely Clinton McBroom.
That’s using all the voting totals available Tuesday night and the estimates of Harvey County Clerk Rick Piepho.
However, who will claim the third city commission seat remains in flux.
The city currently has 954 mail in ballots that have yet to be returned to the county courthouse.
“I don’t think there’s that many more out that will be returned,” Piepho said, pegging that number at around 100.
Add that number to the 236 mail in ballots dropped off at polling stations, hand count ballots and provisional ballots, and it’s possible more than 300 votes will end up being counted by canvassing next Tuesday.
The three top vote getters gain a city commission seat. Currently, Richard Stinnett leads with 1,735 votes, ahead 228 votes of McBroom, who received 1,507 votes. Incumbent Rod Kreie is in third place with 1,426 votes, and Antonio Sandate in fourth place with 1,340. Those two are separated by 86 votes, making the paper unwilling to call the race with so many more votes to be counted.
Current City Commissioner Glen Davis sits out of third place right now by 270 votes. Lance Gormley and Christina Murphy trail a possible seat by 463 votes and 664 votes, respectively.
The top two vote getters in the city commission race will receive four-year terms. The third place vote getter will receive a two-year term.
On the school side, Matt Treaster and Mallory Morton look like safe decisions to occupy two of the four school board seats up for election. Treaster received the most votes with 2,474, followed by Morton at 2,315.
The next three candidates are a log jam. Luke Edwards has 2,098 votes, Melissa Schreiber, 2062 votes, and Andy Harder, 1,986 votes.
It’s likely two of those three candidates will earn a seat when the dust settles and the uncounted ballots are totaled.
Incumbent Allen Jantz received 1,695 votes, Nathan Dominguez, 1,161 votes, and Carmina Suter, 1,142 votes.
North Newton also has its election separated by small margins. There remain 71 mail in ballots still out for the area. Ron Ratzlaff has received 272 votes, Kurt Friesen, 252 votes, Paul Harder, 225 votes, and Mark Jenkins, 211 votes. The top two vote getters will receive a seat on the council.
North Newton Mayor Ron Braun earned mayorship, running unopposed.
On Sunday alcohol sales, Newton residents voted 2,296 to 1,293 to allow them.