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Update: King, Austin lead mayoral primary race

With all precincts reporting in Austin, Steve King and Jeff Austin currently lead in the mayoral primary.

With mail-in ballots still pending, King currently leads the race with 1,455 votes (53.41 percent), with Austin currently second with 768 (28.19 percent).

Brian Heimer, the third candidate in the primary, has 501 (18.39 percent).

The top in the race advanced to the Nov. 3 election with the winner replacing current Mayor Tom Stiehm, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term.

The primary also served as a first run in the COVID-19 era voting, where in Austin everything was condensed into the Holiday Inn Convention Center. Election officials say it’s a good first run.

“Great. Amazing,” said Amanda Kiefer, deputy auditor/treasurer, specializing in elections. “We’ve come up with a great system.”

In the District 27A primary, Thomas Martinez is currently ahead of Joe Pacovsky with 1,553 votes (69.55 percent). Pacovsky has 680 (30.45 percent).

In the DFL primary for U.S. Senator, Tina Smith is the clear front runner with 460,096 votes (87.14 percent). The next closest is Paula Overby with 27,378 (5.19 percent).

On the Republican side, Jason Lewis has a clear lead, collecting 179,786 votes (78.15 percent) and will likely be the chosen candidate to face Smith this November.

Officials are estimating that Mower County’s tally will be close to wrapped up on Thursday with an eye to verify on Friday. The state will then verify the results next Tuesday.