Seifert and Rechtzigel survive stiff challengesBoth Ted Seifert and Dan Rechtzigel will return to the Goodhue County Board for another term after each edged out their opponent in Tuesday’s election.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Both Ted Seifert and Dan Rechtzigel will return to the Goodhue County Board for another term after each edged out their opponent in Tuesday’s election.
Seifert was up against Paul Drotos, whose first-ever run for office ended in a loss by just 112 votes.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me and everyone who helped me on my first campaign,” Drotos said.
After all five precincts reported their results, Seifert had collected 51.18 percent of the total with 2,148 votes. Drotos followed with 48.51 percent and 2,036 votes. Seifert said he wasn’t surprised by the small difference in votes and knew that voters’ position on frac sand mining was a large influence.
“The campaign started to turn on that issue so I figured it was going to be close,” Seifert said. “This election means Goodhue County will be able to keep local control over the siting and operations of sand mines.”
During his campaign, Drotos was straightforward about his position, saying he would like the county to ban frac sand mining. Seifert was hesitant to support a ban because of legal risks. Instead, he said he would like to develop a zoning ordinance that would sufficiently protect the health and safety of Goodhue County’s citizens.
“I’m sincere when I say if we ban it in the whole county, we’ll get sued,” he said.
“I hope Ted takes note of how important keeping frac sand mining out is to many people in Goodhue County as he helps to create the policy we will all live under,” Drotos said after the race.
Heading into another term in the District 5 seat on the County Board, Seifert said he plans to stay focused on reducing taxes and county spending.
“I think the key to that is to work very closely with other levels of government,” he said, adding that services can be combined and there can be collaboration with neighbors to help save county money.
Rechtzigel, who was up for re-election in District 3, will return to his seat on the County Board alongside Seifert.
His race, too, ended with a narrow advantage, and the incumbent walked away with the win. Rechtzigel totaled 2,370 votes across 11 precincts to capture 50.68 percent while challenger Byron “Barney” Nesseth finished with 2,290 votes for 48.97 percent.
“I’m just relieved to have made it through,” Rechtzigel said. “It was right for someone to come in and challenge and someone to say they would do things differently. I just really appreciate the trust of the voters to come in and say, ‘You know what, we’re going to stick with you.’”
Rechtzigel said he spent election night picking up campaign signs throughout Kenyon, and had only just checked in on the race about half an hour before it was called.
“I just started to flip on the computer and take a look and thought, ‘Oh boy, it’s going to be a close race,’” he said.
Earlier in the night Nesseth was leading by a fair margin, but the candidate was paying close attention to which precincts had reported.
“I wasn’t by any means confident when there was just Wanamingo stuff in. That’s my strong area,” Nesseth said.
With Rechtzigel remaining in his position for another term, his opponent is looking for only one change.
“I just hope he’s a little more fiscally conservative. That would be nice,” Nesseth said. “Other than that, he’s a good man.”