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Frye-Mueller Tops Kotti For State Senate, Nabholz 4th In Fall River CC Race

HOT SPRINGS – Yesterday was primary election day in South Dakota with few Democratic races. The only statewide race was the essentially already decided presidential contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders with Fall River County among many with no contested Democratic races.

On the Republican side, U-S Senator Mike Rounds and Congressman Dusty Johnson had similar results in the primary in their bids for second terms as they easily defeated relatively unknown female opponents from the Black Hills.

Johnson edged Rounds in percentage, posting 76% against Liz Marty May to 75% for Rounds over Scyller Borglum, but Rounds received about 300 more votes.

In the race for the open District 30 State Senate seat, State Representative Julie Frye-Mueller topped Hot Springs Mayor George Kotti 53-47% while in House Dist 30, Tim Goodman, the remaining incumbent, got 46% to easily claimed one of 2 spots in Nov.

Trish Ladner narrowly defeated Florence Thompson and Kwinn Neff for the other November slot with less than 1% difference between them. Ladner got 1,438 to 1,375 for Thompson and 1,358 for Neff. That’s close enough that a recount is a possibility.

The 9-way GOP primary for Fall River County Commissioner featured one upset, but not the one some observers thought might happen as Paul Nabholtz finished 4th behind fellow incumbents Joe Allen and Heath Greenough and newcomer Les Cope.

Allen, the target of a strong negative campaign, finished first with 625 followed by Cope at 616, both 16% of the total. Greenough edged Nabholz for the final spot in November 14% or 524 vote to 13% or 515 votes – also raising the possibility of a recount.

Suzanne Davidson was the only one of the other 5 candidates to reach double-digits in percentage with 13%, 36 votes behind Nabholz. Troy Goettsch came in at 9% with Trudy Dibble and Ben Tubbs at 7% and Lloyd Rudloff 5%.

Incumbent Hot Springs School Board member Petra Wilson took 65% of the vote over Malisa Niles for a 3-year term while incumbent Hot Springs Ward 4 Alderwoman Caitlin Turner was also a 65-35% winner in her race against Debra Johnston.

Statewide turnout was 25% with about 10% of ballot still to be counted late last night while the Fall River County turnout was just under 41%