Koons, Schmidtke advance in primary

FAIRMONT — Challenger Richard Koons of rural Welcome and incumbent Dan Schmidtke of rural Fairmont were the top two vote-getters Tuesday in the race for the District 4 seat on the Martin County Commission.

The duo will now face each other in the November general election.

Neal Potthoff of rural Dunnell ran third.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Koons had 47 percent of the vote, while Schmidtke got 34 percent. Potthoff garnered 19 percent.

“I would like to thank the voters of District 4 in Martin County for their support,” Koons said. “I look forward to talking with them and working with them leading up to November.”

Schmidtke shared similar sentiments.

“I would just like to thank the people for their support,” he said. “Hopefully their support will carry forward and we’ll gain some new supporters on the way before the November elections. I just can’t thank everybody enough, I appreciate them and I will continue to work hard for them.”

“Why not be positive about this thing?” Potthoff said despite the loss. “We’ve got a lot of good things in Martin County and southern Minnesota. I always try to maintain that things come around and we’ve got a lot of good people and good things that we can promote around the area, and the county government is just a small part of it. We’ve been blessed with a wonderful area.”

The District 4 race in Martin County was the only commissioner race on the primary ballot in the area. In November, there will be more contested county races, although not many.

Clark Berry is challenging current Martin County Recorder Diane Sanders, who is seeking re-election.

No other challengers filed for seats in Martin County, but five current office-holders did. They are: District 2 Commissioner Tom Mahoney of Fairmont, Sheriff Jeff Markquart, County Attorney Terry Viesselman, Auditor/Treasurer Jim Forshee and Surveyor Ben Madsen.

Meanwhile in Faribault County, there will be one contested race. Dru Martin of rural Easton filed to challenge Tom Loveall of rural Winnebago for the District 4 commissioner seat. Loveall is the incumbent.

Otherwise, five incumbents in Faribault County are running unopposed. They are District 2 Commissioner Greg Young, Auditor/Treasurer John Thompson, Recorder Sheryl Asmus, Sheriff Michael Gormley and County Attorney Kathryn Karjala-Curtis.