18-year-old Brookings High School senior, Chris Schneider, prepares to take advantage of his Constitutional right to vote. Election worker Susan Kontz explains the process to the first time voter.
Ehrichs wins county seat; Olson, Heinemann, Parsley will head to State Capitol in January
By Billy Stitz
The 2012 election is finally over and people can now go back to their everyday lives without having to worry about seeing a barrage of political television, billboard or newspaper ads.
Despite the irritation that the ads seem to bring some people, they must work, at least locally. Moody County had a 74% voter turnout, one of the highest turnouts in recent history. Below will be the results from the election as Moody County residents saw it.
By now I am sure that you all noticed that Barack Obama was re-elected as President of the United States for a second term. A majority of South Dakota did not feel that should be the case, and neither did Moody County. It was a lot closer in Moody County than it was statewide however. President Obama received just 39.86% of South Dakotaís votes, but almost won Moody County, receiving 47.12% compared to Mitt Romneyís 50.61%. Although it was close, it was still the same result as the statewide election.
That is not the only thing that Moody County residents agreed with. In all but one race the Moody County residents agreed with the overall State results.
The United States Representative race, a position that is currently held by Republican Kristi Noem, was even closer than that. Democrat Matt Varilek was contesting Noem and he gave her a run for her money in Moody County. Noem edged out Varilek by just 59 votes. Statewide however, Noem won by 15%.
Here is where Moody County differed. In the six-year Public Utilities Commissioner race, South Dakota voted handily in the favor of Kristie Fiegen with almost 53% of the vote compared to Matt McGovernís 40%. This was the closest race in Moody County, decided by just nine votes. McGovern won the tight race with 1,414 votes compared to Fiegenís 1,405 votes. Russell Clarke also received 167 votes.
Republican Chris Nelson ran away with the four-year Public Utilities race, receiving over 67% of the statewide vote over Democrat Nick Nemecís 32.9%. The Moody County results were about the same, Nelson took 63.62% of the vote from MC residents compared to Nemecís 36.38%.
The same could be said about the District 8 State Senator position. Incumbent Russell Olson stole the show with 63.36% of the district-wide vote to Democrat Charlie Johnsonís 36.6%. Moody County, who attributed to just under 3,000 of the 11,000 total District 8 votes, voted for Olson at 68.22% compared to Johnsonís 31.78%.
District 8 State Representative had two positions available Ė those two positions will be filled by Democrat Scott Parsley and Republican Leslie Heinemann who also happens to be a Moody County resident. Parsley took 30.6% of District 8ís votes while Heinemann received 26.4% of the Districtís vote. Moody County voted heavily in favor of Heinemann, giving him 33.38% of their vote and 31.91% to Parsley.
The other two candidates for the position were Democrat Roy Lindsay (23% District-wide and 18.35% in MC) and Republican Gene Kroger (19.8 District-wide and 16.37 in MC).
District 4 of Moody County also had to vote in a new County Commissioner to take the place of Dave Stenberg, who is finishing his fourth and final year on the commission next month. Republican Tom Ehrichs, a farmer out of Egan took 56.79% of the vote over former Moody County Auditor Jean Larson.
Overall, 3,093 county voters took to the voting booths last Tuesday to take advantage of their constitutional right to vote.