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Stark County unofficial primary election results

In Stark County, many local elections went uncontested, leaving only a handful of contended races.

The unofficial results for the June 14 primary election for Stark County had 2,889 ballots cast.
The unofficial results for the June 14 primary election for Stark County had 2,889 ballots cast.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press
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STARK COUNTY, N.D. — On Tuesday, Stark County residents went to the polls in a surprisingly low turnout. While midterm elections historically generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections, comparing the turnouts for the previous three midterm elections, the 2022 primaries were down by 23%.

In Stark County, many local elections went uncontested, leaving only a handful of contended races.

Stark County Commission

The District 4 Stark County Commission seat was one of the most contentious and talked about local races this primary election season. There were 2,729 votes cast.

Paul Clarys won handily with 1,619 votes, defeating incumbent Carla Arthaud, who had 1,105 votes.

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Stark County Commissioner Carla Arthaud addresses the joint zoning transitional meeting regarding concerns with the ETZ expansion. (Photo by Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Addressing the primary loss, Arthaud said she was dismayed by the low turnout this primary, but said she was eager for the forthcoming November election.

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"I'm staying positive for the general election, I've worked hard over the last four years and will continue to do so moving forward," Arthaud said. "I will continue to do what I have always done, which is to work for the people of Stark County with their best interest at heart. Thank you to all my supporters who went to the polls today, thank you for your continued support and come November, I look forward to your support again."

Dickinson Public School Board

With 2,899 ballots cast, the unofficial results of the June 14 primary election for the Dickinson Public School Board race saw incumbents Jason Rodakowski, Michelle Orton and Vice President Kim Schwartz retaining their seats.

Taking the lead in the race, Rodakowski saw the highest percentage of votes at 28% with 1,369. Reflecting on serving another term on the Dickinson Public School Board, Rodakowski said it feels good and is excited to see the Southwest Career and Technical Education Academy.

Jason Rodakowski, pictured above, will continue serving on the Dickinson Public School Board followed by the unofficial results of the June 14 primary election.
Jason Rodakowski, pictured above, will continue serving on the Dickinson Public School Board followed by the unofficial results of the June 14 primary election.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

“... I appreciate the support of the community and look forward to serving another four years,” Rodakowski said.

Coming in at second, Orton garnered 27% of the votes with 1,300. Before the election, Orton noted that the board has already established some goals and hopes to continue working on those to enhance student success at DPS — everything from reading, mathematics to ACT/SAT scores.

“I truly am excited about it and I say that because I feel it takes a term to truly understand what it takes to be in that position and just look at the school district overall as far as what our needs are in every aspect — the student aides, the district needs as far as our teachers or administrators and making sure that as board members we’re truly focusing on supporting. Our responsibility as board members is (being) No. 1 fiscally responsible, but also making sure those support systems are there for our teachers, administrators and overall our students. That’s why we do it and I was glad to serve the first term and truly appreciate the fact that I was voted in to serve another term. Now I feel like after that first term and the knowledge and experience, everything we’ve been through — the pandemic, all the changes — it truly was eye-opening and I feel like it gives me a different perspective as far as serving a second term.”

Dickinson Public School Board Member Michelle Orton is shown.
During a monthly meeting Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Michelle Orton, a member of the Dickinson Public School Board, comments on the success of the Dickinson High School Academy Expo that took place in December.
(Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press)

Overall, as a district, Orton said that the board wants to continue seeing progress and improvements within the Dickinson Public School system.

“We want to see collaborative efforts just all around, working with the community (and) working with teachers, administrators… and just working toward a positive future,” she said, adding, “I thank the community for trusting me to serve another term and I look forward to providing the best decision making I can to help our schools, our students, our community.”

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Garnering 25% of the votes with 1,225, Schwartz reflected on serving her second four-year term.

“I’m very excited to maintain my seat on the school board. I’m proud to be a member of Dickinson Public Schools and I think we’re doing a lot of good things for the students and the community in Dickinson,” Schwartz said.

Vice President Kim Schwartz of the Dickinson Public School Board, pictured above, will serve another four-year term followed by the June 14 unofficial results of the primary election.
Vice President Kim Schwartz of the Dickinson Public School Board, pictured above, will serve another four-year term followed by the June 14 unofficial results of the primary election.
Jackie Jahfetson / The Dickinson Press

Along with guiding a new superintendent, Marcus Lewton, Schwartz said she looks forward to the ongoing launch of the Southwest CTE Academy with Director Aaron Anderson .

“I’m just really excited for the future of DPS,” Schwartz added.

Dustin Anderson ended the night in fourth place with 19% of the vote, at a slim 930.

South Heart School Board

The South Heart School Board race saw incumbent Mason Eberts clinch the top spot with 29% of the vote at 178. The other two seats were filled by newcomers Jarrod M. Steffan and Lynae Harper (Rambousek). Steffan came in second with 162 votes — resting at a 26%. Harper (Rambousek) claimed the third seat with 20% of the vote at 121.

Stark County Auditor

The final ballot count recorded 2,899 votes, with the unofficial results of the June 14 primary election for the Stark County Auditor and Treasurer race seeing incumbent Karen Richard claim a commanding win.

Richard, who was appointed to the position in October of 2021 following the resignation of the previous auditor, took a substantial lead over challenger Monica Kram early and held on to the lead throughout as votes trickled in from Richardton and Belfield.

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Karen Richard, Stark County Auditor.
Photo by James B. Miller, Jr. / The Dickinson Press

With 63.6% of the overall vote, 1,595 votes, Richard beat Kram who claimed 36% of the votes with 904. Reflecting on the results, Richard said she was eager to continue doing her very best for Stark County and thanked her supporters.

“... I really appreciate that the Stark County residents who voted for me recognized that I am doing my best to give them my all. I commend Kram for running because it's important to have a choice. I am pleased with the results and look forward to November,” Richard said.

Richardton-Taylor School Board

In the Richardton-Taylor School Board race, between Damian Paulson, Jody Hoff, Duane Zent, Jessica Olson and Jessica Rixen for the two positions, Hoff and Zent would earn nods in a tight race.

Hoff claimed 22% of the vote, with 119 votes. Zent would come in a close second at 21% with 113 votes. Narrowly missing one of the two seats would be third place finisher, Paulson who garnered 20% at 108 votes.

Belfield City Council

Roger Decker and Kyle Michels each captured seats on the Belfield City Council. The six candidates running included Decker with 131 votes, Michels 101, Cindy Ewoniuk 38, Aaron Yourk 36 and Jesse Mohler 33.

“I’m thankful to the people of Belfield and I appreciate their votes. It’s humbling, you know, it’s just nice to have their confidence,” Decker said.

Related Topics: DICKINSONELECTION 2022DICKINSON PUBLIC SCHOOLSGOVERNMENT AND POLITICSALL-ACCESS
Jackie Jahfetson is a graduate of Northern Michigan University whose journalism path began in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a freelancer for The Daily Mining Gazette. Her previous roles include editor-in-chief at The North Wind and reporter at The Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich. Raised on a dairy farm, she immediately knew Dickinson would be her first destination west as she focuses on gaining aptitude for ranch life, crop farming and everything agriculture. She covers hard news stories centered on rural communities and government, agriculture & Ranch. When not fulfilling deadlines and attending city commission meetings, she is a budding musician and singer.
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