Last minute frenzy brings several candidates to Hall County ballot
Grand Island's next mayor may be decided without a vote ever being cast, while farther down the ballot a last minute rush will give voters plenty of choices.
That included the Grand Island Northwest School Board, where board president Karl Quandt looks forward to a new crop of candidates.
“It's always nice to see more people willing to step up and put their name on the ballot,” he said. Quandt is currently serving his third term, and is not up for election in 2018.
Election Commissioner Tracy Overstreet spent Friday typing names for the ballot, and there are dozens to list.
She counts 63 candidates across the county, and many turned in paperwork at the last minute.
“25 percent of them came in the last two days,” she said.
It’s not just that GINW school board race, but every single Hall County Board of Supervisors position has multiple candidates, including one with six.
Overstreet said, “Incumbents have decided not to run and I think people really took that to heart and looked at those races and decided to step up and serve and put their name out there. I think that's fantastic that people are taking that step and being involved in the democratic process.”
The new election commissioner has been hitting the books.
“Already started looking at recount statutes, chapter 32-1119,” she said.
Crowded races may not have clear winners, and Overstreet said that could mean recounts.
Karl Quandt believes choice is good, but it means more work for voters.
“They have to do a lot more investigating this time because there's not just one or two candidates to pick from. You've got a whole slate of candidates to move through your primary election,” he said.
The Northwest school board has faced public scrutiny over a vote, that was later reversed, to close the Chapman School.
Overstreet said, “They've been talking about a lot of big issues - middle school issue, restructuring district, finances, a potential bond. Those are things that get people interested and I think some people want to share their voice in the process.”
Quandt said he was pleased to see people who have raised concerns about some of those issues come forward as candidates.
“There's been some contested issues in the last year and a half. That has brought out more people interested in putting their position forward,” he said.
He made it clear he does not speak for the nine candidates in the GINW race, but he welcomes the interest.
“It's always good to see people step up when it comes time to serve in public sector,” he said.
Back to the Grand Island mayor’s race, it will only be on the general election, with just one candidate Roger Steele.
Here's a partial list of contested races in Hall County:
Supervisor District 1
- Doug Lanfear
- David E. Ziola
- Cleo "Butch" Hurst
Supervsior District 3
- Dick Hartman
- Amber Schuppan
- Robert Humiston Jr.
- Steve H. Johnson
- Bob Niemann
- Gayle Clark
Supervisor District 5
- Jane Jeffries-Richardson
- Scott D. Davison
Supervisor District 7
- Scott B. Arnold
- Ron Peterson
- Peggy J. Pape
Hall County Attorney
- David Medlin
- Marty Klein
Hall County Sheriff
- Jerry Watson
- Rick Conrad
City Council-Ward 3
- Clarence R. Stephens
- Jason Conley
City Council-Ward 4
- Mitchell Nickerson
- Jose A. Ramirez
City Council-Ward 5
- James Duff
- Michelle A. Fitzke
- John Gericke
NORTHWEST-Dist 82 (Vote for three)
- Daniel Leiser
- Kim J. Meyer
- Robin L. Schutt
- Nathen Hovie
- Kristina Vlcek
- Janel L. Laub
- Deb Hanquist
- Zach Mader
- Bill Buettner