Sawatzke wins contentious commissioner race in District 2
Wright County Board incumbent and Monticello resident Pat Sawatzke has emerged as the general election victor in a contentious commissioner battle with Rose Thelen.
A 2010 redistricting plan put the two county residents and commissioners into one of the county’s five districts this election season. With all eight precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Sawatzke tallied 7,282 votes (53.57 percent). Thelen, a Clearwater Township resident, received 6,256 votes (46.02 percent). There were 56 write-in votes reported.
“It was an intense campaign,” Sawatzke said Wednesday morning. “Rose was certainly a worthy competitor. I look forward to working with four new commissioners. It’s going to be different, because I’ve worked with a number of similar commissioners for a long time. Commissioner Dick Mattson and Commissioner Jack Russek and I have worked together since 1993 and Commissioner Elmer Eichelberg has served a number of terms as well. It’s going to be drastically different working with new county board members.”
When he met with constituents during the campaign, Sawatzke said the economy and keeping taxes and spending in line sounded loud and clear as message with voters.
Thelen congratulated Sawatzke and wished him the best early Wednesday morning.
“I’d like to thank everybody who helped me out and voted for me,” Thelen said. “It was definitely an uphill battle after the redistricting. We knew this would not be easy.”
In addition, Thelen said she was proud of the showing she did make during the race.
In other Wright County Board races, in District 1, Christine Husom tallied 6,800 votes (55.13 percent) to defeat Fred Naaktgeboren, who received 5,477 votes (44.41 percent).
In District 3, Mark Daleiden received 5,383 votes (60.08 percent), defeating Tom Darkenwald, who had 3,516 votes (39.25 percent). In District 4, Mike Potter received 5,083 votes (52.15 percent) while Mary Wetter tallied 4,585 votes (47.04 percent). And in District 5, Charlie Borrell received 5,612 votes (50.57 percent) while challenger Leonard Woznika received 5,039 votes (45.41 percent). This marks the second time that Sawatzke will be the only incumbent commissioner on the Wright County Board.