by Mike Knaak
By Election Day, officials estimate about half of Minnesotans will already have voted. As of last week, more than 1.2 million Minnesotans already cast ballots. That’s more than twice the total early voting in 2016 and 2018. Stearns County early voting is running more than 324 percent ahead of this point in 2018.
In addition to state and national races, Sartell and St. Stephen voters will elect three school board members. Two Sartell City Council seats are on the ballot and St. Stephen voters will choose a mayor and two city-council members.
For stories on all the races and candidates, go to: thenewsleaders.com/category/news/2020election/
Sartell City Council
Four people are running for two seats on the city council. The candidates are incumbent Mike Chisum, Aaron Johnson, Alex Lewandowski and Jill Smith. Brady Andel did not file for re-election. Council members serve four-year terms.
No one filed for St. Stephen mayor so that office will be filled by write-in votes. Two incumbents, council members Steve Trobec and Tom Vouk, are running for two St. Stephen City Council seats.
Sartell-St. Stephen School Board
Four people have filed for three seats on the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board.
Taryn Gentile, Patricia Meling and Matthew Moehrle will join incumbent Jason Nies on the Nov. 3 ballot. Two incumbents whose terms are expiring, Lesa Kremer and Pam Raden, did not file for re-election. School board members serve four-year terms.
Stearns County Board
Incumbent Joe Perske is running unopposed in Stearns County Commission District 2. Commissioners serve four-year terms.
In Senate District 13, Republican Jeff Howe of Rockville is seeking a second term. He is challenged by DFL candidate Michael Willemsen, Sauk Rapids. District 13 wraps around the city of St. Cloud and covers most of eastern Stearns County from Sartell to Paynesville to Lynden Township and Sauk Rapids in Benton County.
Long-time incumbent Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) is running for a sixth term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. His challenger is DFL’er Benjamin Carollo of Sauk Rapids. House District 13B covers the northeastern corner of Stearns County, including the cities of Holdingford, St. Stephen and Sartell, and Sauk Rapids in Benton County.
State senators serve four-year terms and representatives serve two-year terms.