HC official election results

Don Burnikel is supervisor for District 2.

Don Burnikel is supervisor for District 2.

Local election results were not official until the Nov. 10 Howard County Supervisor meeting. After the supervisors canvassed the votes, the official results were released.
There are 6,331 registered voters in the nine precincts in Howard County. Over 50 percent of those voted, with 3,459 ballots counted at 54.64 percent participation.

The race many people were still following into this week was District 2 Supervisor between incumbent Don Burnikel and challenger Joe Pisney.

If you ever wondered if your one vote counts, just ask those two! After the Nov. 4 election, Burnikel was only two points ahead of Pisney with a vote of 569-567. If just one person had voted for Pisney instead of Burnikel, it would have been a tie! That is a close race! Thirteen ballots had no votes marked for the supervisor race and one ballot had both candidates marked, None of those were counted for that contest.

With a race that tight, it came down to absentee ballots that had been mailed on or before Nov. 3. One ballot came in after the votes were counted on Nov. 4, but it was postmarked Nov. 5 and was not accepted. No other ballots were in the mail between Nov. 5 and Nov. 10.

As it stands Burnikel officially won by the slightest of margins—two votes. Pisney already filled out papers on Friday for a recount and the supervisors approved the recount at the Nov. 10 meeting.

Auditor Julie Chapman has been reading up on all the requirements needed for a recount. She said each candidate involved (Pisney and Burnikel) chooses one person to represent them. The two representatives then choose a third party for the recount.

In District 3, incumbent Jan McGovern had 691 votes to James Kitchen’s 408.

The highly contested race between incumbent Josh Byrnes and challenger Laura Hubka in District 51 for State Representative was close in Howard (Byrnes—1,737 over Hubka—1,691), but Byrnes ended up winning by 26 percent overall (7,262-4,264).

Each township also had two seats up for election, along with the clerk, all for four-year terms. Results follow:

Albion Township—Gerald Keune and Brent Bronner with Carol Gates as clerk

Forest City—Dennis Langreck and Gene A. Pisney with Rita Roberts

Chester—Brian Goodman and Melissa Adams with Jean Bowser

Oakdale—Keith Knode and Loren Rickerl with Monica Jensen

Jamestown—Richard Brunner and Steve Christensen with Edith Asfahl

Saratoga—Barry Christensen and Richard Baethke with Susan Norman

Vernon Springs—Pat Wilson and Mark O. Reis with Roger Kleve

New Oregon—Randy Svoboda and Dean D. Hubka with Bob Stika

Paris—Lon F. Scheidel and Brad Sovereign with Chuck Stevenson

Howard—Jason Ludwig and Kurt Grover with Trudy O’Donnell

Afton—Jim Marr and Ronald D. O’Donnell with Judy Biwer

For Howard Center Township, the candidates did not get their names submitted soon enough, so the winners by write-in were Dave Daley and Gerald Reicks with Gary Gassett.


There was no real surprise in the following races as there was no competition for the seats:

Regional Health Services of Howard County Board of Trustees (Vote for two)—George R. Willis and Bootie Kapler

Howard Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner (two)—Mike Lewis and Michael Natvig

Howard County Agricultural Extension Council (five)—Cheryl Cray, Gary Sovereign, Steve Mahr, Jessica Reis and Cindi Grover

Judicial Ballot

All judges were retained:

Court of Appeals—Thomas N. Bower and Christopher McDonald
District Court Judge District 1B—Bradley J. Harris and Joel Anthony Dalrymple


In bigger races, Terry Branstad/Kim Reynolds won governor/lt. gov. with 59 percent and Jack Hatch/Monica Vernon with 37 percent.

Secretary of State—Paul D. Pate (48.5 percent) over Brad Anderson (46.6)

State Auditor—Mary Mosiman (56.9) vs. Jonathan Neiderbach (42.9)

State Treasurer—Michael L. Fitzgerald (52.8) over Sam Clovis (43.7)

Secretary of Agriculture—Bill Northey (62.3) over Sherrie Taha (34)

Attorney General—Tom Miller (56.1) over Adam Gregg (43.8)


The U.S. Senate race was watched nation-wide as long-time Sen. Tom Harkin retired, leaving both Democrats wanting to retain the seat and Republicans hoping for an upset. Joni Ernst took the seat for Republicans with 52 percent of the votes compared to Bruce Braley’s 44 percent.

U.S. Representative, District 1—Rod Blum (51.2) over Pat Murphy (48.7)


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