Incumbents retain seats on Stutsman County CommissionIncumbents Mark Klose and Dave Schwartz retained their seats on the Stutsman County Commission during Tuesday’s election.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
By Kari Lucin
The Jamestown Sun
Incumbents Mark Klose and Dave Schwartz held onto their seats on the Stutsman County Commission in a close race Tuesday.
Klose received 4,807 votes and Schwartz received 3,921 votes and were re-elected, Schwartz for the first time after having been appointed to the position. The results are unofficial.
Dave Orr lost to Schwartz by just 136 votes, with a total of 3,785 votes, and Nellie Degen got 2,707 votes.
“I’ve enjoyed it and we’ve got a good working board and a progressive (one), and I’m just happy to be part of it,” Klose said. “So we’ll be continuing to move forward with our county and our community.”
Klose said that in the next four years, he hopes to expand Stutsman County’s economic development activities and create opportunities for people to better themselves, have a good business climate and create new wealth for the community.
“I expected it to be very, very close, which it was. I wasn’t going to be surprised no matter which way it went, or disappointed,” Schwartz said Tuesday. “This kind of confirms that maybe I did the job right the last two years.”
Schwartz said deciding whether to run for the position had been tough, adding that the job of commissioner is demanding and time-consuming.
He said the top issue for the county is still roads, and infrastructure remains its biggest challenge.
“It’s been an ongoing problem for a long time. I think we’re making some progress with it now,” Schwartz said.
He also said he did not do a lot of campaigning prior to the election.
“I figure if (people) were satisfied with the job, for the last two years I did, they’ll vote for me. And if not, they’ll vote for somebody else,” Schwartz added.
Orr said he believed the County Commission campaigns had been very clean, and offered to serve on a county committee in the future if commissioners need a person.
“I’d like to thank all the residents of Stutsman County who supported me, and also the voters who took the time to stir the issues, and more importantly, for the jobs the incumbents are doing,” Orr said. “I wish them well in their continued efforts.”
Orr hopes the commissioners will address the issue of the Stutsman County Correctional Center in the future.
“It’s a mess. It’s a total mess,” he said, citing concerns that they may have cut staffing too thin, losing employees and using prisoners to feed each other.
Degen could not be reached for comment.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org