By Craig Moorhead
Spring Grove Herald

Election judges from Houston County’s 27 precincts reported a long, slow day last Tuesday. That’s because less than 10 percent of registered voters cast ballots during the primary.
Houston County had 11,591 registered voters on Election Day. Only 1,052 votes were cast. There was a lack of local (non-state or federal) elections on this year’s primary ballot.
In the Republican bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Houston County’s GOP voters supported Aaron Miller (281) over Jim Hagedorn (258). However, Hagedorn won the primary 53 percent to 46 percent when all 696 precincts involved were tallied.
Republican Jeff Johnson will challenge incumbent Mark Dayton in the Minnesota governor’s race. Johnson came in second to Marty Seifert (156-173) in Houston County, however.
Another DFL incumbent, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, also easily proceeded to the fall ballot. He will face Republican Mike McFadden in November. McFadden carried Houston County with 55 percent of the GOP vote.
The Secretary of State race in Minnesota will feature DFL candidate Steve Simon versus Dan Severson of the GOP. DFL incumbent Rebecca Otto will face Randy Gilbert of the GOP in the race for State Auditor. Two candidates vied for the GOP ticket for Minnesota Attorney General. Scott Newman (who also won Houston County) defeated Sharon Anderson 63 percent to 36 percent in that race.
The Independence Party garnered just over 2 percent of the vote in Houston County. Statewide, Steve Carlson won the right to appear on the Independence ticket for the senate race. Hannah Nicollet will run for governor. Bob Helland will vie for Minnesota Secretary of State, Patrick Dean for State Auditor, while Brandan Borgos will run for Attorney General.