Unofficial results indicate 250 ballots were cast in the Tuesday, June 4 school board election for Wahpeton.
Incumbent Brad Bakken, who represents the city of Wahpeton, was re-elected. Newcomer Kathy Dimmer, who represents the area north of State Hwy. 13, was elected. Incumbent Ginny Buck, who represents the area south of Hwy. 13, was also re-elected.
“I’m humbled and thankful for the citizens who decided to vote,” Bakken said. “It’s time to continue on and get some work done.”
The Wahpeton School Board, a nine-member body, annually holds elections for three three-year positions.
Bakken previously represented Wahpeton from 2007-2013 before being re-appointed to the board in 2018. Dimmer has nearly 50 years of teaching experience. Buck was first appointed to the board in 2004.
“I just want to thank all of the people who voted, not just who voted for me,” Buck said. “It shows our community involvement and want to have a say in what happens in our schools.”
For the two-candidate Wahpeton race, Bakken received 215 votes. Challenger Jason Goltz received 26 votes. There was a write-in vote for Evan Erdman.
“I appreciate the voters who took time from their busy schedules to vote in a school board election,” Dimmer said.
For the two-candidate northern race, she received 156 votes. Challenger Chris Berndt received 89 votes.
“Our district has always had very dedicated people working hard to educate and guide students in Wahpeton,” Dimmer said. “I’m excited to be on the board and help make decisions for our district.”
For the uncontested southern race, Buck received 141 votes. There were 92 write-in votes for Matt Dockter and four write-in votes for various individuals.
“My driving concern this term is going to be that we get enough bus drivers and keep updating our vehicle fleet,” Buck said previously.
Voter turnout has grown in recent Wahpeton school board elections. In 2018, 379 ballots were cast. In 2017, 49 ballots were cast.
Approximately 80 ballots were cast within the first 75 minutes of Tuesday’s election. Wahpeton High School was the only voting location.
“It was thrilling to see the progress and establishment of our elementary-middle-high school campus off 11th Street,” said Bakken, regarding his previous time in office.
With 214 votes, citizens also approved Wahpeton Public Schools publishing its minutes in the newspaper of record, Daily News. There were 25 votes against the proposal.
Superintendent Rick Jacobson and the school board will canvas the results when they meet at 6 p.m. Monday, June 10. Canvassing is a process where election results are reviewed and certified.
Wahpeton Public Schools’ board is completed by directors Damon DeVillers, Mike Hauschild, Jake Kubela, Art Nelson, Susan Rittenour and Scott Thiel. DeVillers, Kubela, Rittenour and Thiel represent the city of Wahpeton. Hauschild represents the northern community. Nelson represents the southern community.
The district office is located within Wahpeton High School, 1021 11th St. N. in Wahpeton. Board meetings are usually held at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month.