Rock County voters turned out in record numbers to participate in the 2012 presidential election.
In Rock County’s precincts overall, 94.25 percent of voters participated, “which is absolutely amazing,” said Ashley Kurtz, Rock County Auditor Treasurer.
The biggest local story is the Rock County Commissioners election that saw longtime incumbent Jane Wildung decidedly defeated by challenger Jody Reisch for the District 5 seat. (See that related story.)
President Barack Obama was re-elected 59,721,271-57,095,396 with 50 percent of votes over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who garnered 48 percent of the popular vote.
In terms of electoral votes, Obama had 303 compared with Romney’s 206.
If Rock County had its way, Romney would be president by a margin of 58 percent to Obama’s 40 percent.
Voters in this part of the state elected Republican leaders for the Minnesota House and Senate, re-electing Rep. Joe Schomacker to the House seat for District 22A and choosing Bill Weber for the Senate seat in District 22.
Schomacker, Luverne, won 11,554-8,004 with 59 percent over DFL challenger Gene Short, Currie, who garnered nearly 41 percent of the votes.
Weber, Luverne, won 19,547-17,455 with 52.76 percent of the votes over DFL candidate Alan Oberloh, Worthington, who garnered 47.11 percent.
These races were among the few Republican victories in the state, however, where representation in both the House and Senate will now be controlled by DFL legislators.
See the Minnesota Secretary of State website, www.sos.state.mn.us for information about other districts statewide.
In the U.S. Congressional race for the District 1 seat, DFL incumbent Tim Walz (57.53 percent) was re-elected 193,288-142,190 over Republican challenger Allen Quist (42.32 percent).
(Rock County would have preferred Quist over Walz by 53.10 percent to 46.84 percent).
In the U.S. Senate Race, DFL incumbent Amy Klobuchar won easily over Republican challenger Kurt Bills with 65 percent of the votes. Bills had 30.56 percent.
(Rock County would have given Bills the edge with 47.87 percent over Klobuchar’s 45.78 percent).
Constitutional amendments defeated
The constitutional amendment that would have recognized marriage as solely between one man and one woman was defeated 1,506,516-1,399,119. There were 30,719 ballots left blank, so the estimated yes votes were 47.65.
The constitutional amendment that would have required a photo identification to vote was defeated 1,534,854- 1,361,604, with 39,896 ballots left blank. Estimated yes votes were 46.37 percent.
Other local races go uncontested
Unopposed incumbents took the majority of votes in municipal elections in Beaver Creek, Hills and Steen on Tuesday.
In Beaver Creek Carolyn DeBoer will remain mayor for another two-year term after receiving 129 votes.
Alan Harnack will continue serving the people as a four-year councilman with 73 percent of the vote.
Although two seats were open on the council, only one person filed. The public submitted 51 write-in votes.
In Hills councilman Keith Elbers was elected mayor with 277 votes.
Voters needed to fill two council seats. Incumbent Brian Sandbulte captured the majority of the votes and newcomer Brad Berkhof earned 35 percent. Of 144 write-in votes, Dan Fick received 120 votes.
In Steen Mayor Melvin Van Batavia will serve another two years.
Incumbents Mark Richards and Marlin Elbers were both reelected to serve on the Steen City Council.