Ballots have been cast in the 2022 midterm election, and while it could be up to two weeks before final results are announced, Dawson County experienced a very high voter turnout at 41.5%. While all of the Dawson County races were decided in the primary in May, there were several contested local races of interest.
The most sought-after seats on the local level were those of Gothenburg School Board. Initially, seven candidates filed for the three available seats with only one of those - Nate Wyatt - being a current board member. Jon Hudson and Devin Brundage both opted to not seek re-election. Candidate Bradley Jorgenson received the least number of votes in the primary and was eliminated, leaving six candidates moving on to the Nov. 8 general election: Wyatt, Lisa N. Brass, Matt Dalrymple, Bruce Lee Clark, Dawn Urman and Kristi Kreuscher.
Unofficial results as of late Tuesday night show the top three candidates as Nate Wyatt, Lisa Brass and Matt Dalrymple in a close race. Dalrymple garnered the most votes with 757, followed by Wyatt with 735 and Brass with 625. Bruce Clark finished with 588 votes, Kristi Kreuscher with 538 and Dawn Urman with 454. Dawson County Election Commissioner Karla Zlatkovsky reminds the public that these are preliminary results as of election night. Tabulation will be finalized within the next week or two.
Another contested race locally is that of Gothenburg mayor. Three candidates had filed for the seat being vacated by long-time mayor Joyce Hudson, with Patrick J. Moore being eliminated in the primary. The general election ballot featured Will Rahjes and Kendra Boyd, with preliminary results giving the victory by a substantial margin to Rahjes, 700 - 356.
Gothenburg resident Robin Stevens was in a race to retain his seat on the Nebraska State Board of Education as the District 7 representative. He was being challenged by Elizabeth Tegtmeier, who mounted a serious campaign in recent months. District 7 encompasses more than half of the state, and includes all counties west of Wheeler, Greeley, Howard, Buffalo and Adams counties. Therefore, all residents of the 44 counties in the district cast their votes in the race, with Tegtmeier unofficially leading by a fairly large percentage statewide. In Dawson County, Tegtmeier beat Stevens 3,090 to 1,822.
The Gothenburg community also has a resident and businessman seeking a seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents as the District 7 Representative. Sen. Matt Williams, whose term in the legislature expires at the end of this year, was being challenged on the ticket by Kathy Wilmot. The race remained fairly close throughout the evening, with the unofficial results showing Wilmot maintaining a slight lead statewide, while Williams held on to a fairly close lead in Dawson County. Those unofficial numbers show Williams with 2,855 to Wilmot’s 2,248.
Two initiatives affecting all Nebraskans also appeared on the ballot; Initiative 432 would require everyone to show a photo ID to vote, and Initiative 433 would raise the state’s minimum wage over the next four years. Unofficial results currently show Initiative 432 with an easy victory in Dawson County, while Initiative 433 held on to a mere 37 vote lead in favor.
Again, Zlatkovsky reminds the public that these results are very preliminary. We will continue to update results online and in our publications as they become available.