Primary election to narrow local racesWashington County voters will narrow the fields in a few local races in today’s primary election.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Washington County voters will narrow the fields in a few local races in today’s primary election.
The top two vote-getters in three area contests will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
Voters across the county will cast ballots in the three-way primary race for county attorney.
The county attorney candidates are Peter Orput of Stillwater, Clayton Robinson of Woodbury and Kevin Shoeberg of Stillwater. They are battling to replace retiring Washington County Attorney Doug Johnson.
Orput, 55, is an assistant Hennepin County attorney specializing in robbery cases. He worked in the Washington County Attorney’s Office in the 1990s.
Robinson, 57, is assistant director of prosecutions for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. He previously served as St. Paul city attorney.
Shoeberg, 44, owns a private law office based in Woodbury. He has worked as an attorney and prosecutor for a number of cities and townships within Washington County.
County commissioner District 2
There is a four-way race for Washington County commissioner in District 2. Incumbent Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek, 40, of Oakdale, is being challenged by Dean Johnston of Lake Elmo and Oakdale residents Jeff Birttnen and Joe Delaney. Johnston, 65, currently serves as Lake Elmo mayor. Birttnen, 61, is a Washington County Community Services employee. Delaney, 70, is a retired teacher.
The District 2 seat includes Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Landfall and Woodbury precincts 3 and 12, which are in the northeast area of the city.
County commissioner District 4
Washington County Commissioner Myra Peterson, 71, of Cottage Grove, has two challengers as she seeks another term representing District 4 on the County Board.
Peterson’s opponents in today’s primary are Cottage Grove residents Autumn Lehrke, 28, and Colleen Millard, 56.
The District 4 seat includes Cottage Grove, Newport and St. Paul Park.
Absentee balloting up
Political observers have wondered how Minnesota's earlier primary election would affect voter turnout.
Washington County election officials reported that they had received more completed absentee ballots ahead of today’s election than they did in the 2006 primary election, the last time there was a governor’s race.
Washington County election supervisor Carol Peterson said her staff received approximately 1,200 absentee ballots through Monday. In 2006, the county accepted 912 ballots.
“We’re ahead of that already,” Peterson said Monday afternoon as her office continued to help voters who wanted to cast absentee ballots.
The primary election was switched from early September to early August this year to provide time for overseas voters to receive their ballots.
Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about Woodbury polling locations, go to: www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/govt/elwhere.html
For information about polling locations outside of Woodbury, go to: www.sos.state.mn.us