Primary Election 2012

All voters in Monticello, Maple Lake, Silver Creek and Clearwater cities and townships supporting the Republican, Independence or Democratic-Farmer-Labor party will find multiple contested races on their primary ballots Aug. 14.
Each of the three parties has had two or more candidates file in the U.S. Senate race, where on the DFL side, incumbent U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (campaign website is being challenged for the party nod by Dick Franson (, Jack Edward Shepard ( and Darryl Stanton (
Kurt Bills ( is endorsed by the Republican Party but being challenged in the primary by candidates David Carlson ( and Bob Carney, Jr. (
Independence Party delegates did not issue an endorsement for U.S. Senate, but will have two candidates in the primary vying to represent the party in November’s general election – Glen R. Anderson Menze ( and Stephen Williams (
Farther down the partisan side of primary ballots to be issued in Monticello, Maple Lake, Clearwater and Silver Creek, incumbent 6th District U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann ( is being challenged for the Republican Party nod by candidates Aubrey Immelman ( and Stephen Thompson (
Jim Graves is the sole candidate running on the DFL ticket in the 6th District race and will carry the party’s nomination to November. The Independence Party did not have a candidate file for the 6th District.
Primary rules mandate that participating voters cast partisan ballots only for DFL, Republican or Independence Party candidates. Aug. 14 primary goers may not cast votes in each party for the U.S. Senate race, and those who wish to vote in the 6th District Republican race must keep their primary Senate choice to Bills, Carlson or Carney.
The primary process also prohibits any write-in votes.
On the opposite side of their primary ballots, Monticello, Maple Lake, Clearwater and Silver Creek voters will find four names listed for the commissioner race from Wright County’s new District Two that incorporates each of those cities and townships. The race features two incumbents, Pat Sawatzke, whose current district has included Monticello city and township plus portions of Dayton and Otsego, and Rose Thelen, whose district has included Clearwater city and township, Maple Lake and Silver Creek townships and other precincts.
Sawatzke and Thelen both may advance to their board race’s general ballot in November, but first they would need to finish ahead of two primary challengers, Joseph Doyle and Barry A. Kukowski. As of press time for this edition, only Thelen ( had listed a campaign website with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. Each of the four county board candidates responded to a Monticello Times primary questionnaire, with their answers published in the Aug. 2 print edition and available online at
Finally on the nonpartisan side of ballots issued Aug. 14, area voters will find two contested races for seats on the state Supreme Court. Incumbent Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea ( is being challenged by Jill Clark ( and Dan Griffith ( Associate Justice David R. Stras ( is being challenged by Alan Nelson ( and Tim Tingelstad (
The top two vote-getters in each Supreme Court race will advance to November’s general ballot.

By Paul Rignell