Grabinger, Looysen, Haak win District 12 seatsLongtime incumbent Lyle Hanson lost his District 12 House seat Tuesday as voters chose newcomers to serve them in the North Dakota Legislature. Jessica Haak, a Democrat, and Alex Looysen, a Republican, were the top vote getters in the race. Both were running their first campaigns. In the Senate race, voters chose John Grabinger, a Democrat.
By: By Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Longtime incumbent Lyle Hanson lost his District 12 House seat Tuesday as voters chose newcomers to serve them in the North Dakota Legislature.
Jessica Haak, a Democrat, and Alex Looysen, a Republican, were the top vote getters in the race. Both were running their first campaigns. In the Senate race, voters chose John Grabinger, a Democrat.
Haak garnered 2,965 votes while Looysen picked up 2,881. Hanson, a Democrat, received 2,548 votes while Ken Hall, Republican challenger, gathered 2,220.
“I’m honored the voters chose me,” Haak said. “I’ll work hard for them and am excited to get to work for the district.”
Haak is the membership director at North Dakota Farmers Union Education and a graduate of James-town College.
Looysen credited a good campaign to his victory in his first candidacy. Looysen is a student at Jamestown College.
“We had a good campaign and great teammates,” he said. “I look forward to working with John and Jessica in Bismarck.”
Hanson has represented the district since 1979 and was the sole incumbent on the District 12 ballot. Sen. Dave Nething, R-Jamestown, and Rep. Joe Kroeber, D-Jamestown, had not sought re-election.
“They (Republicans) ran a flyer that didn’t tell the truth at 5:30 the night before the election,” Hanson said. “The truth is, I actually voted for the bill.”
The flyer questioned Hanson’s voting record on tax relief. It listed that it was paid for by the North Dakota Republican Party.
Hanson was visibly emotional at the loss and did not comment further.
“We lost a hell of a good man (from the House),” said John Grabinger, apparent winner of his race for the District 12 Senate seat.
Grabinger defeated Republican Bernie Satrom by an unofficial margin of 109 votes. Grabinger picked up 2,918 votes to Satrom’s 2,809 votes.
“I enjoyed the process and met a lot of good people,” Satrom said. “I hope Jamestown moves forward.”
Grabinger credited the victory to a good campaign.
“Very close,” he said. “It was a hard effort and I’m proud of our campaign. It was a clean campaign. I’m looking forward to going to work for the people of Jamestown.”
He said infrastructure of the state will be the biggest issue in the Legislature this session.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com