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Counties see increased voter turnout

Election night Tuesday yielded big results in Billings, Dunn and Hettinger counties, with the three counties all seeing increased voter turnout for the 2018 general election.

In Dunn County, six candidates pursued three at-large county seats.

Craig Perlton and Daryl Dukart, both incumbents, received 1,017 and 989 votes, respectively, and challenger Joann Marsh Brew received 915 votes.

Incumbent Donna Scott received only 817 votes, and challengers Tom Steffan and Tim Steffan received 807 and 769 votes, respectively.

In the sheriff's race, Gary Kuhn received 1,152 votes and Ron McCloud received 811 votes. Both candidates were challengers.

Kuhn will replace current sheriff Clayton Coker, who is retiring.

In the county state's attorney race, Stephenie Davis received 1,117 votes, defeating fellow challenger Daniel Gulya, who received 624 votes

Davis will replace current state's attorney Pat J. Merriman, who was defeated in May's primary election.

Dunn County had 2,489 voters participate, Tracey Dolezal, county auditor, said.

"It was a very good night," she said. "We had about 1,743 votes in the last election cycle, four years ago."

In Billings County, two candidates pursued the County District 2 County Commissioner seat.

Incumbent Michael E. Kasian was re-elected with 309 votes, while challenger John J. Kessel received 223 votes.

Billings had one county measure on the ballot, to increase fees for 911 on landlines and cell phones from $1 to 1.50 per line.

The measure was defeated, with 297 against and only 256 approving.

A total of 561 voters participated, Marcia Lamb, auditor, said. The number is an increase from the previous midterm election, which had 534 voters.

Lamb, auditor, described Tuesday's election as a good night.

"There was a couple of issues with our aging election equipment, but other than that things went really well," she said. "There weren't any lines or any issues with IDs."

Hettinger County had only one contested race.

Two candidates pursued the seat vacated by resigning commissioner Rob Larson.

Angela Carlson received 656 votes, and William D. Gion received 534 votes.

Jeri Schmidt, county auditor, said the election drew 1,270 voters.

"We had a 2 percent increase over the general election," she said. "I thought that was very good for mid-term.

There were no problems for Hettinger on election night, Schmidt said.

"Everything went very smoothly," she said. "I commend our election workers."

District 39, which includes Killdeer and Billings, re-elected Dale Patten for the North Dakota Senate, with 7,939 votes; and state representatives Keith Kempenich, with 6,597 votes, and Denton Zubke, 5,966 votes.

The three Republican candidates ran unopposed in the district.