by CHRIS ROGERS
Incumbents Mark Peterson and Greg Olson did well in Tuesday’s primary in their respective races to represent Winona in the city mayor’s office and at the Winona County Board table, winning large majorities of the vote. Their top challengers, mayoral candidate Connie Tropple and County Board hopeful Brian Conner, stood out from the rest of the field, but trailed significantly behind the incumbents.
Peterson received more than twice as many votes as Tropple. The incumbent Winona Mayor received 998 votes or 67 percent of the vote. Tropple brought in 408 votes or 27.5 percent. Challengers John Skalitzky and Alan Masyga were knocked out after receiving 30 and 46 votes, respectively.
Olson won an even larger share of the vote, though fewer total votes were cast in his district. He received 410 votes or 73 percent of the vote to Conner’s 126 votes or 22 percent. A third candidate, Norman Kostuck, received 25 votes and was eliminated from the race.
Peterson and Tropple and Olson and Conner will face off in November’s general election.
In the race to pick a Republican challenger to run against Tim Walz for the U.S. House of Representatives First District, Jim Hagedorn trounced Steve Williams 10,851 votes to 3,330.
Houston County incumbent knocked out
Houston County Board member Steve Schuldt will hand over his seat to a newcomer in January. Schuldt was knocked out by challengers in a five-way primary race. The incumbent received 13 percent of the vote, 97 votes.
Bruce Bulman and Scott Conner won the primary race for Schuldt’s seat, with 227 votes and 170 votes, respectively. Challengers Bruce Kuehmichel and Larry Salm were defeated after receiving 134 votes and 85 votes, respectively.
In a incumbent-less race for Houston County’s fifth district, Houston County Planning Commission Chair Dan Griffin topped the polls with 177 votes. Fred Arnold was right behind him with 175 votes. They will face off in the general election. Loren Lapham was knocked out after brining in 120 votes.
Incumbent judges advance
Incumbent local judges Terrence M. Walters and Carmaine Sturino, formerly of Winona, won with commanding leads in their respective primaries. The recently appointed Sturino will face challenger Timothy Guth in her first general election. Walters will face David F. McLeod.
Sturino serves as a Houston County District Court judge and Walters serves in Wabasha County, but voters throughout Southeastern Minnesota decide who to elect.
Incumbent Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Natalie Hudson also won the lion’s share of the votes in her race. Challenger Michelle L. MacDonald beat out fellow challenger Craig Foss by 3.5 percentage points to advance to the general election.
City of Wabasha
Craig Falkum, 83 votes, and Dan Arens, 38 votes, won the primary for the city of Wabasha’s First Ward City Council seat. Allen Wharton lost with 26 votes.
In the race for the city’s third ward council seat, Jeff Sula, 59 votes, and Jim Roemer, 27 votes, will advance. Gene Jensen, 24 votes, and Jesse Vold, 21 votes, were narrowly defeated.
Only 22 total votes were cast in the race for Wabasha-Kellogg School Board. Deborah Seelinger received 11 votes, and Bobbie Gallas beat out John B. League III by just one vote, 6 votes to 5, in order to advance to the general election.