Five file for Pelican area county seat

Everybody wants to grow up to be a county commissioner. 

Or, so it seems in West Otter Tail County, where five candidates have filed for the District 2 seat—which includes Pelican Rapids and nearby townships. 

The seat has been held by Wayne Johnson for more than ten years. With Johnson filing, and four more candidates, it will be an unusually full ballot for a county office. 

Filing for Otter Tail county board District 2 are:

• Dean E. Anderson

• Jeffrey Mark Gontarek 

• David Helgerson 

• Wayne Donald Johnson 

• Tammy S. Ziegler 

The list of five will be narrowed to two finalists at the primary election in August. The two top vote-getters will go on to the November general election. 

With the filing deadline of May 31 now past, there are several contested elections. 

For county board District 4, which is east of Pelican Rapids and includes Maine Township, incumbent Betty Murphy will face challenger Bob Lahman on the November ballot. 

Otter Tail District 3 will be a race between Kurt Mortenson and Bradley Sunde. 

A last-minute filing created a race for Otter Tail County Sheriff. Filing on May 31 was Joey Geiszler, who will campaign against current Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons. 

Michelle Eldien has an unobstructed path to reelection as Otter Tail County attorney—with no opposition on the ballot.

The only November primary for the legislature will be Nathan Miller’s challenge of fellow Republican Jordan Rasmusson, for District 9 state senate—which includes the Otter Tail lakes area, all the way to the Minnesota-North Dakota border. 

The lone DFL candidate filing was Cornel Walker, Fergus Falls, seeking state Senate District 9.

State House 9A and 9B ballots are complete for the November general election. 

For 9A, which includes Pelican Rapids and west to the state line, Republican Jim Backer, Wheaton area, will face Nancy Jost, a Fergus Falls DFLer. 

State House District 9B covers the lake area from Lake Lida to rural Perham. 

For the DFL, Jason Satter, rural Pelican Rapids, will face Tom Murphy, a Republican from Maine Township.