A new sheriff in town

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Terese Amazi made history Tuesday by becoming the first woman to be elected to a county sheriff's position in Minnesota.

Amazi defeated Todd Clennon, 9,787 to 6,224, according to unofficial results Wednesday. That represents a 61 to 39 percent margin of victory.

Amazi is the current chief deputy in the Mower County Sheriff's Department. Clennon is an Austin Police Department officer.

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The incumbent Mower County Sheriff Barry J. Simonson announced early this year his retirement at the end of his second 4-year term and endorsed Amazi to succeed him.

State Senate District 27

Votes will be recounted in the Senate District 27 race, according to the Mower County Auditor's office.

Tuesday's results show Dan Sparks beating incumbent Grace Schwab by 33 votes. Independence Party candidate Terry Kelley received 2,950 votes.

Minnesota statute 204C.35, subdivision 1 states that if the difference between the candidate who is leading and any other candidate is less than 100, the votes must be recounted.

The canvassing board at the state level will recount the votes, but as of Wednesday morning the Secretary of State's office did not know when that would begin, said Woody Vereide, Mower County auditor.

A call to the Secretary of State's office Wednesday morning was not returned.

Vereide said the county auditor's office will be notified as soon the Secretary of State's office decided when to recount the votes. The state canvassing board will then re-scan city ballots and recount county ballots, he said.

Voter turnout in the state senate race was 33,022 with 45.55 percent of the vote going to Sparks, 45.45 percent to Schwab. Kelley earned 8.95 percent of the vote. Write-in candidate Jennifer LeeAnn Ney did not receive any votes.

Kelley said he was disappointed with the outcome, but added the results showed how much special interest influences an election.

"It's unfortunate money plays such a big role in politics," he said.

Kelley said he would consider running for political office again, but did not have immediate plans to do so.

Sparks and Schwab did not return repeated phone calls Wednesday morning.

County Attorney

Patrick W. Flanagan will take office in January and Patrick A. Oman will leave office.

After three terms and nearly 15 years as Mower County Attorney, Oman was defeated by Flanagan, an Assistant Mower County Attorney.

According to unofficial results, Flanagan received 8,132 votes compared to 7,503 for Oman.

The 628-vote margin came with 52 percent of the vote total compare to 48 percent for Oman.

Unopposed races

Mower County Auditor Woody Vereide received 99.9 percent of Tuesday's vote totals.

Vereide, who was among a handful of unopposed candidates, received 14,263 votes on Election Day.

That was the largest single vote-total in the election.

When Vereide takes office in January 2003, he will be starting his fourth 4-year term as Mower County Auditor.

Also, he will have to replace his chief deputy, Doug Groh, who won the race for Mower County Treasurer Tuesday.

Susan M. Davis was reelected Mower County Recorder without opposition. She had 14,135 votes or another 99.9 percent total, according to unofficial results.

The third unopposed candidate in Tuesday election was David Hillier, 3rd District Mower County Commissioner.

Hillier received 3,078 votes or 98.15 percent of the total cast, according to unofficial results.