#4 — Voters choose new sheriff

2018 election highlights

At the November 6, 2018 general election voters chose some new people to occupy very visible potions in Ward County. Foremost was the defeat of Sheriff Bob Barnard, ousted by challenger Robert Roed.

While the election of Roed may not have been completely surprising to some, the margin of victory certainly was. Roed swept the office by capturing the majority of votes in all 19 voting precincts. It was his first run at elected office.

Barnard was also seeking his first approval from voters. He had been named interim sheriff in April 2017 by the Ward County Commission following the resignation of his former boss, Steve Kukowski. At that time Barnard was head of investigations for the department.

Roed, a 28-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was a captain serving under Barnard. He will take over reigns of the sheriff’s office on Jan. 1.

Part of Roed’s responsibilities includes working regularly with the Ward County Commission, the make-up of which was changed during last November’s election. Following the decision of commissioner Larry Louser to not seek re-election for a second term, three candidates were seeking two open positions on the commission.

One of the seats belonged to John Fjeldahl. He was the top vote getter in November and was easily elected for a fourth term. John Pietsch bested Dave Pankow for the second open spot on the commission. He’ll begin his first four year term at the Jan. 2 meeting of the Ward County Commission.

In addition to Fjeldahl and Pietsch, other members of the commission are Alan Water, Jim Rostad and Shelly Weppler.

In the District 3 race for the State Senate, Republican Oley Larsen was the top vote getter against independent Andy Maragos and Democrat Joseph Nesdahl. Winners in the District 3 House race were Republicans Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson. Voters rejected Democrats Shannon Krueger and Bob Schwartz.

Long-time Republican Senator Randy Burckhard was re-elected in District 5. He has served in the state Legislature since 2011. Democrat David Haugen was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat Burckhard. District 3 House winners were Scott Louser and Jay Fisher. Louser was first elected in 2011. Fisher was a newcomer. On the short end of the ballot total was Zachary Raknerud.

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