Juhlin Edges Redden In Commissioner’s Race, Chadron Voters Approve Lodging Tax


     48% of registered voters in Dawes County cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary election despite having only a couple of contested local races and no hot races elsewhere. 

     The Dawes County Commissioners District 3 race between Dave Redden and Walt Juhlin was about as close as it could be with Juhlin coming out on top by 4 votes in the final unofficial total of 317 to 313 with 5 write-ins.

    With over 500 ballots cast, the 4 vote margin is too big to trigger Nebraska’s automatic recount law, although Redden could request a recount that he would pay for. He would be reimbursed if the recount changed the outcome of the election.

     As it stands, Juhlin will advance to the general election to face Libertarian Tony Johnson, who did not have a primary election.

     In the 5-candidate race for Chadron City Council, Thomas Rutledge, who withdrew too late to take his name off the ballot, still drew 212 votes but didn’t keep the other 4 candidates from advancing with very close totals.

    Kevin Oleksy drew the most votes with 492, followed by Loren “Bat” Pourier with 471, Jessy Roberts 452, and Clay Anderson 423 – a difference of just 69 votes 1st to 4th. All advance to the November ballot.

     Chadron voters also approved a 2% lodging tax to fund capital improvements to parks and recreational facilities inside the city limits. The measure passed with about 56% of the vote 655 to 522.

    In the race to succeed term-limited 43rd District State Senator Tom Brewer, Tanya Storer of rural Valentine and Tony Tangwall of Whitney automatically advanced to November despite facing off in the primary.

     Storer, who unsuccessfully challenged Brewer four years ago, beat Tangwall by a surprisingly wide margin in Dawes County and district-wide. Storer won the overall count 59% to 41% or 5,798 to 4,105. The Dawes County vote was 1,230 to 963.

     In District 47, which includes Sioux County, former Sidney vice-mayor Paul Strommen easily topped Larry Bolinger of Alliance 77% to 23% or 5,635 to 1,671. Both advance to the general election.