Election brings good news for Carlton County schools, cities
With all but a few votes in for Carlton County, it was mostly good news for area school districts pursuing levies and cities looking for voter approval of local option sales tax.
Esko voters said yes to two different school district questions, approving both a $2.7 million athletic field referendum on the ballot and a $341,000 operating referendum to help cover the basic, day-to-day operating expenses of the Esko School District.
In Barnum voters approved a $1 per pupil referendum for the next five years.
In Wrenshall voters said “yes” to renewing a five year operating referendum in the amount of $629 per pupil, but a second levy question asking local voters to approve an additional $100 per student failed by 61 votes.
Voters in Cloquet and Moose Lake passed half-cent local option sales tax referendums.
In local races, DFL candidate Mike Sundin won the newly formed State Representative District 11A seat handily, with more than 11,000 votes to Republican Jim Putnam’s 5,323 and Independence Party’s Cory Pylkka’s 1,019 votes. Those vote tallies are for Carlton County only, so those will change slightly when the final tallies come in Wednesday.
In Cloquet, it appears that Lara Wilkinson will be the new at-large councilor, while Steve Langley won in Ward 5. Cloquet voters returned the three incumbent school board members, although newcomer Brett Wienen turned in very respectable numbers.
In a surprise upset, longtime Carlton County Commissioner Ted Pihlman appears to have been unseated in District 5 by challenger Gary Peterson. Peterson had 1,420 votes to Pihlman’s 1,309.
For updates and more election results, check the Secretary of State’s website and read this week’s issue of the Pine Journal, out Thursday morning.