Talbott, Bensel move on in Columbia County race

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Mike Talbott and Tom Bensel were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election for Columbia County commissioner position 2. They will face off in November’s general election. Anne Higgins was eliminated.

In the preliminary count Tuesday night, Talbott received 171 votes, or 40.6 percent of the total. Bensel received 143 votes, or about 34 percent. Higgins received 107 votes, for 25.4 percent.

The winner in November will replace outgoing commissioner Dick Jones. Talbott and Bensel are running as Republicans.

Talbott is a longtime Columbia County farmer and served on the Dayton School Board for 17 years. Bensel was a road superintendent for Columbia County for 18 years and works in the wind power industry.

For commissioner position 1, incumbent Dwight Robanske is running unopposed and received 267 votes Tuesday.

For the primary election, commissioner candidates were only on the ballots of voters within their districts. In November’s general election, each commissioner candidate will appear on ballots county-wide.

Columbia County reported voter turnout of about 44 percent.

In Garfield County, for commissioner position 2, incumbent Wynn McCabe received 179 votes, or about 69 percent percent of the vote, against challenger David Ledgerwood, who received 81 votes, or about 31 percent. The two will move on the general election. Neither candidate stated a party preference.

For commissioner position 1, incumbent Robert Johnson is running unopposed and received 149 votes.

As in Columbia County, the commissioner races in the primary election were district-wide, while in November’s general election, they will both be county-wide.

For the Garfield County assessor position, incumbent Laura Smith is running unopposed and received 480 votes.

Voter turnout in Garfield County was reported at about 43 percent.

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