Duluth 2011 Primary Election Results

With 36 of 36 precincts reporting and 6,620 total ballots cast:

At-large Duluth City Councilors
(Two positions; top four candidates advance)
Emily Larson – 4,918 | 40%
Linda Krug – 4,860 | 40%
Tim Riley – 947 | 8%
Chad Smith – 645 | 5%
Eric Edwardson – 446 | 4%
Gareth W. Bates – 442 | 4%

Fourth District Duluth City Councilor
(Top two candidates advance.)
Jacqueline Halberg – 695 | 44%
Garry Krause – 649 | 41%
Ryan Miles – 134 | 9%
Wallace Newquist – 59 | 4%
Travis Silvers – 29 | 2%

At-large Duluth School Board Member
(Top two candidates advance.)
Michael Miernicki – 3,783 | 61%
Ryan Stauber – 1,882 | 30%
Doug Frisk – 515 | 8%

43 Comments

Tom

about 9 years ago

Wow, WDIO was just incredibly sloppy in reporting this.  They reported that two people from each race moved on.  Then about 5 minutes later they decided to correct their mistake, and Darren Danielson had absolutely no clue what was going on for about 15 seconds, which is an eternity in broadcasting.  You'd think they'd get down the basics of what's going on before they go on air, but I guess not.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

The match ups for November are:

Mayor of Duluth
Don Ness unopposed

First District Duluth City Councilor
Todd Fedora vs. Jennifer Julsrud

Third District Duluth City Councilor
Sharla Gardner unopposed

Fourth District Duluth City Councilor
Jacqueline Halberg vs. Garry Krause

Fifth District Duluth City Councilor
Jay Fosle unopposed

At-large Duluth City Councilors (two positions)
Linda Krug vs. Emily Larson vs. Tim Riley vs. Chad Smith

At-large Duluth School Board Member
Michael Miernicki vs. Ryan Stauber

Second District Duluth School Board Member
Loren Martell vs. Judy Seliga Punyko 

Third District Duluth School Board Member
Jon Donahue vs. Bill Westholm

todobrillante

about 9 years ago

Couple of thoughts:

-I don't see coverage of the election on the DNT website, definitely not one if their five top stories in the scroll last time I checked. Embarrassing/shameful that the local paper doesn't cover local elections.

-The at-large numbers should be votes earned/votes cast, so Larson and Krug each got about 74 percent of the people who did vote to vote for them.

-Halberg had a great night but I think a lot of the votes cast for candidates who didn't make it through the primary will end up with Krause. That's going to be a big battle.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Congratulations to those who are moving onto the general election. I know Emily Larson and Linda Krug both ran a hard campaign during the primary, and I'm sure they'll both run a great campaign against Tim Riley, who was described in this morning as being vehemently against gay marriage.

emmadogs

about 9 years ago

Thanks for that information, Claire.  I am all for the day when our GLBT friends can marry just as I was able to.  And in any event, can someone tell Riley that there are other important issues for Council members to worry about, like, oh, say, the closing of libraries, Parks/Recreation funding cuts, etc etc etc.

Tom

about 9 years ago

That's good to know about Tim Riley.  I know gay marriage isn't really a city issue, but that should also probably give you a clue about his other political positions.  I really like Emily Larson and Linda Krug in that race.

Does anyone know anything about Chad Smith?  Since I live in West Duluth, I thought it was kind of nice to see somebody from the western side of the city running.  He hasn't seemed to really do much campaigning though.  He declined to be interviewed by the DNT Editorial Board when they were selecting endorsements.  I did get a little flier at my door from him, though.  It doesn't seem to say much other than, "I'm going to be an excellent city councilor and improve the city in every way possible."  So I'm wondering if anyone out there actually knows his views on anything.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Chad Smith has a website at chadsmithduluth.com. He outlines a number of positions on the "Core Beliefs" page.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Todobrillante strikes up an interesting mathematical point. The percentage-of-the-vote candidates are given is generally arrived at by dividing the number of votes received vs. the total number of votes in the race -- so the percentages always total 100 percent. 

In the case of a race in which voters can pick two candidates, this can be confusing because it doesn't reflect the percentage of voters who chose each candidate, it reflects the percentage of the total votes received in the race. Therefore, the level of support for a candidate appears to be almost cut in half compared to reality.

If you look at this race the traditional way, it comes out like this:

At-large Duluth City Councilors
Emily Larson — 4,918 | 40%
Linda Krug — 4,860 | 40%
Tim Riley — 947 | 8%
Chad Smith — 645 | 5%
Eric Edwardson — 446 | 4%
Gareth W. Bates — 442 | 4%

If you divide the votes by the number of ballots received (6,620), then the percentages would look like this:

At-large Duluth City Councilors
Emily Larson — 4,918 | 74% 
Linda Krug — 4,860 | 73% 
Tim Riley — 947 | 14% 
Chad Smith — 645 | 10% 
Eric Edwardson — 446 | 7% 
Gareth W. Bates — 442 | 6%

The reason this is not necessarily more accurate, however, is that it assumes all 6,620 voters chose a candidate in this race. If everyone chose two candidates, the percentages would add up to 200 instead of the usual 100. They add up to 183, though, which means many people chose to vote for one person or didn't understand they could vote for two. We don't know for sure, but we can assume a small chunk of people voted for no one in this race.

If you look at the At-large School Board race, as an example of a citywide race where voters were asked to choose one candidate, you see that 6,180 votes were cast among 6,620 voters. So 440 voters either ignored this race or voted in a way that couldn't be interpreted.

When you look at it the traditional way, by the percentages of total votes in the race, the results look like this:

At-large Duluth School Board Member
Michael Miernicki — 3,783 | 61%
Ryan Stauber — 1,882 | 30%
Doug Frisk — 515 | 8%

But if you divide by total voters it comes out like this:

At-large Duluth School Board Member
Michael Miernicki — 3,783 | 57%
Ryan Stauber — 1,882 | 28%
Doug Frisk — 515 | 8%
None of the above — 440 | 7%

How's that for a long-winded explanation?

Chad

about 9 years ago

Hi all, Chad Smith here.  I'm a regular reader and infrequent poster here at PDD.  My fliers for the next round are definitely going to be much more specific.  They'll be heading out soon.

If you've got any questions, I can answer them here, or my email address is [email protected]  Hope this helps!

Samual

about 9 years ago

Good Luck Chad! You and Emily are my picks for the fact we need youth now running our city.

Mojowoikin13

about 9 years ago

I'm psyched but gotta admit I'm surprised that Halberg bested Krause in the primary. Krause -- to his credit as a campaigner -- has blanketed Duluth Heights with campaign signs which seemed to indicate an overwhelming level of support for him. 

I think the results point to an upper/lower urban/suburban divide within the 4th district. I for one will be working to encourage voter turnout down the hill; Halberg is much better aligned with the concerns of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I think people remember what a blowhard Krause could be when he was on the city council previously.

Tom

about 9 years ago

People must remember that he made the Bentleyville Naughty List.

Iron Oregon

about 9 years ago

Many people here at UMD are not fans of Krug - stepped on a lot of toes and seemed focused on herself not the students. I'm liking Chad now that I've seen more info on him. You need to get the word out better, Chad (and fix those bullets on your website!). BTW - Larson would be perfect on the Council.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Wasn't Krause the one who got all riled up when his name was included on the Bentleyville Naughty list? It made me like Stauber more, b/c he laughed and said, yeah, he could be pretty naughty!

And didn't Krause have a hissy fit over Burrito Union moving into a building near a park and serving beer and other adult beverages? He thought it was going to corrupt children playing in the park or something?

The guy has no sense of humor.

Chad

about 9 years ago

Thanks Iron, and you're right about the bullets.  I'm going to do an overhaul of my website over the weekend, and that'll be one of the things on my list.

double barrell darrell

about 9 years ago

I'll support the drummer of the RHCP's run for City Council.

Tom

about 9 years ago

Yeah Claire, that's what I was referencing.  Stauber and Krause both made the naughty list because they didn't support the move to Duluth.  Stauber laughed it off, while Krause went on a tired so furious poor Brandon Stahl couldn't even keep up with him.

Joel

about 9 years ago

As for the Halberg/Krause race, it just goes to show that yard signs don't vote-- nor do people with such signs if they don't actually support the person who stuck the sign in their yard.  I suspect that all the Krause signs actually helped Jackie Halberg because they just reminded a whole lot of people how much they don't want Krause back on the council.

Carla

about 9 years ago

Tired = putting on those round black rubber things or being in a state of inadequate ATP left to hydrolyze.

Tirade = a denunciatory speech delivered with emotion and (often) hyperbole.

Tony D.

about 9 years ago

Iron Oregon: not that it matters a lick, but since you used anecdotal evidence to color a candidate, allow me to counter by adding that when I was teaching as part of the CLA when Krug was dean, I and many of my colleagues had no problem with her and thought she was a fine administrator open to ideas, even from lowly adjuncts like myself. So like every candidate in a a political race, I guess some people have a problem with her and others don't. Imagine that, right here in Duluth people don't all have the same opinion of someone running for office!

Iron Oregon

about 9 years ago

Good to know that info, Tony D. Thanks for the perspective. Not sure we need a good administrator on the Council though.

todobrillante

about 9 years ago

Regarding the Krause yard signs...If you drive through neighborhoods in the 4th district you'll see FAR fewer Krause yard signs. It seems he has done a very good job talking to folks along the major corridors to get visibility up...but he doesn't have nearly the same level of success throughout the district.

Also, back to the at-large percentages - breaking down the votes by percents with the at-large is a little confusing either way. The way the city does it the total for all candidates will be 100% but no single candidate can get more than 50% of the vote. The alternative is to have the total of all candidates add up to 200% and a single candidate could (conceivably) earn votes from 100% of voters. Tuh-may-toe/Tuh-mah-toe, let's call the whole democracy thing off.

emmadogs

about 9 years ago

With campaign finance reform failing, I think we already did call the whole democracy thing off.

Max Caven

about 9 years ago

I was also surprised when I saw Krause was bested by Halberg. It seemed like Piedmont and Lincoln Park had a ton Krause signs pop up almost overnight. And judging by the signs, it seemed like he was going to win by a landslide.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Yard signs don't mean much if you don't bust your butt getting people out to vote because they believe in you. Krause might be good at getting people to put up yard signs, but Halberg was excellent at being out there in the community, reminding people to vote. I'm out and about almost as much as Paul Lundgren and the city council candidates I saw out and about as well, making their presence known as candidates at community events were: Larson, Krug, Halberg -- everywhere I went; and Chad Smith, who had a booth at Gay Pride.

Tom

about 9 years ago

It's good to see that the lawsuits Halberg was named in apparently haven't affected her too much.  Remember when the DNT ran that ill-thought-out editorial basically stating that she was an inadequate city councilor because she helped out a friend who had financial problems?  It's good to see that people are judging her on her city council service, rather than a way overblown non-issue that the media turned into a huge issue.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Tom I think everyone can relate to Jackie Halberg's financial problems. We've been there ourselves or we know someone who's been there b/c they got laid off or whatever. I know I've been flat out broke before and if it weren't for Mr. Claire's healthier paycheck, I'd be sunk. For some reason, the DNT editorial board always takes umbrage if a candidate doesn't fit into their little cookie-cutter stereotype of what a local candidate should be.

zra

about 9 years ago

The government isn't broken. Politics is.

Joel

about 9 years ago

I've been told that as Gary Krause door knocks, his main talking point is that "at least I pay my bills on time."  Well maybe if Gary Krause had to give up his job as a prison guard due to a work related injury stemming from an altercation with some inmates (which is exactly what happened to Jackie Halberg), he'd get a bit behind on his bills too.  In the end, Jackie found a new line of work and got caught up on her bills.  It is pretty clear to me which of these two candidates is the one with integrity.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Gary Krause always did strike me as being a bit self-righteous, so no surprise that would be his main talking point.

rsoderlund

about 9 years ago

Where do you like to do your 'research' on politicians before you vote?

I didn't vote last time because my work life kept me too busy to know who I was voting for.

An uneducated voter is better off not voting if you ask me.

Claire

about 9 years ago

rsoderlund, you are right on, I can't believe people who vote because of the candidate's name or whatever and have no idea where that person stands. I read campaign literature, I read the DNT, I do pay a lot of attention to DFL endorsements, and I talk to friends about candidates. I pay most attention to the candidate's own words, either by talking to them, reading their literature, or their commentary/responses to questions asked them in the DNT candidate profiles.

TimK

about 9 years ago

There's a guy a few blocks from me who is a complete jerk. So far, every lawn sign he's put in his yard in the past several elections is for the candidate I would never support.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Speaking of yard signs, I suppose it's time for me to make my traditional endorsement in the mayoral race.



Enter me into the Upset Duluth collection. 

Tom

about 9 years ago

I guess there's a few less of Krause signs around these days:

City Council Candidate A Victim of Theft 

I have a feeling Krause won't stop reminding us about this for a long time.  If he loses the election, I'm sure he'll tell us this was the biggest reason why.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Maybe it was Santa's elves? 

(Seriously though, 125 signs? That's more than the random damage/theft that happens around election. I know I was more than pissed when I've had a sign stolen from the front lawn. So, as much as I dislike Krause, and idly wonder if all those signs where stolen or just removed by the owners, it's not a cool maneuver to go around stealing or destroying them, as much as I'd like to on many occasion.)

Joel

about 9 years ago

A few thoughts on the Krause campaign sign story:

1.  Maybe the actual owners of the homes removed the signs they didn't ask for.

2.  When Marcia Hales ran for reelection to the city council she was seen stealing her own yard signs so she could accuse the other candidate of stealing them.  Just sayin.

3.  If Gary Krause really paid $6.00 per sign, then he's the worst financial manager in the history of the universe and doesn't belong anywhere near anybody that is charged with approving budgets.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

On second thought, setting aside everything else as random speculation, you are right about the cost factor. A quick perusal online has costs for 500 signs ranging from about $1.50 to $2.50 each, wire frames for the signs .75 apiece. 

So uh, yeah. $6 a pop is poor use of funds.

Tom

about 9 years ago

That's a good point you bring up, edgeways and Joel.  Considering how many signs of his I've seen around Duluth compared to the way he performed in the primary, I'd have to think that Krause and his people placed those signs on people's property without their permission.  And a lot of people probably just took them down.  From the media reports, it doesn't sound like there are big stretches of signs that are down.  Just some here and there.

Anyway, I just saw Krause on the news whining about how people are going around creeping under kids' bedroom windows removing signs and endangering families.  Yes, he actually said that.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Wow, for Krause to make such a big deal of the sign stealing -- which happens to EVERY candidate -- tells me he is desperate. And, when signs are stolen, it's usually kids and other pranksters -- not the opposing candidate's campaign. We lose signs practically every weekend in our years. It pisses me off, but it's the cost of being active in one's community and putting your views out there.

zra

about 9 years ago

Consider yourselves lucky. One of our neighbors likes to call the city because of signs in people's yards.

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