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Winnebago County EMS passes; Hancock County courthouse complex measure fails

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Voters in Winnebago and Hancock Counties headed to the polls in large numbers on Nov. 8 election day.

In Winnebago County, Auditor Karla Weiss spent the day visiting polling places in every precinct. She stopped by the Leland Community Center in the late afternoon and visited there with county election officials Marsha Casler, Michal Higgins, Diane Twait, Scott Ludwig, and Sue Langerud of the Forest-Newton Precinct, which also was the polling place for sections 30 and 31 of Mt. Valley Township and the City of Leland.

“The elections are 100% secure,” said Weiss, noting that county officials worked hard to ensure everything was in order for this year’s general election. “I want to make sure everything is going well and that they have all the supplies they need.”

Langerud assisted voters with their ballots. Having served as a county poll worker for more than 15 years, she called it a civic duty.

The vote on the Winnebago County public measure authorized a property tax levy and local-option income tax surcharge to be imposed by clearing the 60% requirement. It will allow for $478,000 annually to be collected through levy of up to $0.75 per $1,000 valuation on all taxable property in the county and an income tax surcharge of up to 1.0% on county residents for a maximum period of 14 years.

In the race for county recorder, Republican Shanna Eastvold with 2,611 (61.3%) votes defeated Kris Oswald with 1,624 (38.1%). Terry Durby of Leland was the victor for District 1 Supervisor with 981 votes (81.89%), handily defeating a write-in campaign challenge by Republican Marvin Gudmonson of Leland. Uncontested Republican Bill Jensvold received 1,252 votes (95.5%) for District 3 Supervisor.

Other uncontested county races included Julie Swenson for county treasurer with 3,986 votes (98.8%) and Kelsey Beenken for county attorney with 3,879 votes (98.9%).

Among Winnebago County voters, Republican Henry Stone secured 2,776 votes (63.3%) to defeat Democrat Joseph Tillman with 1,600 votes (36.5%) as the District 9 State Representative. Stone also was the winner in the overall vote tallies for the district.

For U.S. District 4 Representative, Republican Randy Feenstra garnered 2,924 votes (67.58%) in Winnebago County to beat Democrat Ryan Melton’s 1,301 votes (30.07%). Feenstra won the overall vote as well.

Hancock County

The Hancock County public measure missed the 60% requirement with 2,268 votes (54.8%) for it, but 1,868 votes (45.1%) against it. The referendum would have authorized Hancock County to enter into a loan agreement to issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not exceeding $2.95 million to finance the restoration, repair, and improvement of the county courthouse as well as the redesign and replacement of the county courthouse and law enforcement center parking lot in Garner.

Republican unopposed Hancock County Supervisor candidates, Sis Greiman and Gary Rayhons, received 3,092 (48.0%) and 3,268 votes (50.7%), respectively, with only 80 write-in votes cast in their races.

Republican Deb Engstler secured 2,246 votes (52.6%) to defeat Linda Juhl for Hancock County Treasurer. Republican Tracy Marshall ran unopposed and gained another term as Hancock County Recorder with 3,936 votes (99.2%). Another Republican, Blake Norman, was re-elected Hancock County Attorney with 3,847 (99.0%) votes in another unopposed slot.

For State Representative 56, Republican Mark Thompson received 3,343 votes (81.1%) to easily defeat Libertarian candidate Charles Aldrich, who had 766 votes (18.5%).

Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at


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