Frye Mueller, Greenough Lose Reelection Bids; Fall River Hand-Count Lasts Until 2 AM


    Two incumbents apparently lost re-election bids in races involving Fall River County in yesterday’s South Dakota primaries – District 30 State Senator Julie Frye Mueller and County Commissioner Heath Greenough – but nobody knew it until early this morning. 

    Fears that the Fall River County Commissioners’ decision to require hand-counting of all ballots would lead to a late night proved 100% justified.  It was after 2:00 am before the last precinct was counted and submitted to the secretary of state’s office

     That was more than an hour later than any precinct in any other county, and all of the local races remained in doubt until the last precinct was counted.

     The closest race was the Republican primary for county commissioner, where just 109 votes separated the top 5 of the 7-candidates for 3 spots on the November ballot.

     Taking those spots were two incumbents. Les Cope with 643 votes and Joe Allen with 640, and challenger John Staben, who edged Sandra Wahlert by 1 vote 597-596. 

       Greenough was 5th with 534 while Jeannine Lacy and Trudy Valenzuela trailed with 365 and 197, respectively. A recount is likely between Staben and Wahlert.

      Former Miss South Dakota Amber Hulse edged the controversial Frye-Mueller by 165 votes 2,213 to 2,048 or 46% to 42%. Forrest Foster drew 560 votes or 12%. Hulse lost her bid for GOP Committeewoman to Jessica Tubbs 98 to 95.

     The 6-candidate race for 2 spots in November in House District 30 was close between the top 3 vote-getters. Incumbent Trish Ladner edged former representative Tim Goodwin 2,007 to 1,955 or 24% to 23% with Pat Baumann at 1,876 or 22%.

       Matt Smith received  21% or 1,745.  Stephen Saint had 422 votes or 5% while Matthew Monfore got 364 or 4%. 

      In the only contested legislative race in the state for Democrats, incumbent District 27 Senator Red Dawn Foster got 401 votes or 73% against Gerald Cournoyer Jr, but Republican winner Anthony Kathol got 689 with Bruce Whalen getting 460.

     Turnout for Fall River County was 30.8%, well over the statewide turnout yesterday of 17.1%