Hare defeats Jansen, Noem re-eleleted

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By Katie Zerr

With a ballot count that went on late into the night, Challenger James “Jamie” Hare defeated incumbent Christopher Jansen in a tight race for the Walworth County State’s Attorney seat.

Walworth County residents went to the polls in solid numbers Tuesday, Nov. 6,  casting votes in the race for the White House, Walworth County State’s Attorney, U.S. House of Representative and numerous state issues.  More than 65 percent of eligible voters in Walworth County cast ballots on Tuesday.

Hare received 1,292 votes or 54 percent to Jansen’s 1,103 or about 46 percent of the popular vote in the county.  He will take office in January.

“I am so very excited,” he said Tuesday night. “I am going to hit the ground running. There will be a lot of work to be done and I will do the best that I can to get the job done.”

Hare said he will begin laying the ground work for his term as soon as possible. One of the first things on his list is to develop a good working relationship with law enforcement.

“I will be talking to the law officers and getting to know them,” he said. “I need to know what they need and what they expect of me.”

He and his wife Alice will be moving to this area from Redfield as soon as possible.

“We are so excited to be living in Mobridge and being closer to our family,” he said. “I have a great family here.”

In the presidential race, the majority of county residents cast their ballots for Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan as they outpaced President Barack Obama and Joe Biden by a count of 1,731 votes or 70.3 percent to 671 or 36.6 percent. Candidates Goode and Clymer received 19 votes and Johnson and Gray, 41 in  Walworth County.

Romney/Ryan also defeated Obama/Biden statewide with 210,536 voters or 57.8 percent of South Dakotans casting their ballots for the Republican ticket, while 144,980 or 39.8 percent voted for the Democrats.

Republican Incumbent Kristi Noem defeated her Democrat challenger Matt Varilek by a margin of  207,575 or 57.5 percent to Varilek’s 153,718 or 42.5 percent statewide. In Walworth County, 1,714 or 69.8 percent voters preferred Noem with Varilek receiving 742 or 30.2 percent.

The three representatives from District 23, Republican Senator Corey Brown, Gettysburg, Republican Representative Justin Cronin, Gettysburg and Republican Representative Charlie Hoffman, Eureka, all ran unapposed.

In the race for public utilities commissioners, a six-year term, in Walworth County, Democrat Matt McGovern received 712 votes or 30. 3 percent of the county vote, Republican Kristie Fiegen, 1,518 or 64.7 percent , and Libertarian Russell Clarke got 577 or 5.6 percent.  Fiegen brought in the highest number of votes statewide with 187,325 or 53.8 percent of the popular vote and will serve in that seat.

For the four-term for utilities commissioner, Republican Chris Nelson defeated challenger Democrat Nick Nemec by a count of 1,712 or 73.1 percent to 627 votes, or 26.8 percent in Walworth County, and statewide he received 216,306 votes to Nemec’s 103,332.

In the non-political ballot for retaining Supreme Court Justice Glen A. Severson, whose term will expire at the end of the year, 1,528 of Walworth County voters cast a yes vote and 423 voted no. Statewide, voters cast 239,059 yes votes and 59,098 no votes.

Walworth County residents voted against South Dakota Constitutional Amendments M (issues related to corporations and legislative flexibility) with 1,638 no votes to 551 yes votes. Statewide voters defeated the measure 228, 638 votes for to 96,153 votes against.

On Constitutional Amendment N (which would repeal legislative reimbursements restrictions) 1,497 no votes were cast to 777 yes votes in Walworth County and statewide the amendment was defeated with 215,586 voters against the

defeated with 215,586 voters against the change and 125,679 for it.

On Amendment O (change in the manner in which the cement plant trust fund is distributed) in Walworth County there were 1,145 yes votes and 1,082 no votes.

Statewide voters cast 186,901 votes in favor of the change and 142,348 against.

Voters also voted in favor of Constitutional Amendment P, which adds a balanced budget requirement to the state constitution. In Walworth County, voters cast 1,377 votes in favor of the change and 851 against.

Statewide there were 215,577 in favor of the change and 118,130 against.

On Initiated Measure 15 (establishing a sales tax increase for education and Medicaid) Walworth County voters defeated the measure soundly with 829 yes votes to 1,532 no votes.

Statewide the measure was defeated with 198,509 votes against and 151,448 votes in favor of the measure.

Initiated Measure 16 (merit pay for top teachers, extra pay for math and science teachers) Walworth County voters cast 574 votes in favor of the measure and 1,785 against. Statewide the measure was also defeated with 234,982 voters against the measure and 114,544 voting for it.

On Referred Law 14, a large project development fund based on a 22 percent use of the contractor’s excise tax grant funding, voters defeated the proposal with 846 voting for the fund and 1,400 voting against in Walworth County.

Statewide the fund was defeated by 139,707 casting ballots in favor of the fund and  190,054 against.

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