Polk County Board: Olson, Warndahl, Masters and Middleton win in tight contests

Greg Marsten | Staff writer
BALSAM LAKE – The Polk County Board of Supervisors will have three new faces in the coming weeks, including two women, which triples the number of female supervisors on the 15-member board with the return of District 5 supervisor Tracy LaBlanc, who has been the lone woman on the board for several years, since Kate Isakson served as a District 12 supervisor until two years ago.
While there are 15 seats on the board, only four of the districts had contests on the ballots last week, as well as one unchallenged newcomer running for the District 12 seat.
While there was technically no contest in District 12, incumbent supervisor Mick Larson chose not seek a return to his seat, and only one person declared candidacy for the vacant seat, Frances Duncanson, who garnered 499 votes and was without a challenger, giving her an easy win.

District 1 — Olson (I) vs. Noreen
Incumbent supervisor Bard Olson emerged victorious in his contest with first-time candidate challenger Michael Noreen, with a final tally of 411 for Olson and 295 for Noreen.
District 3 — Doerr vs. Warndahl
This was the only Polk County Board race that originally began with a three-candidate primary in February, with Lisa Doerr and Steven Warndahl facing off in the contest for the District 3 seat currently held by Polk County Board Chair Dean Johansen, who chose not to seek reelection.
The race was among the most highly charged of any county race, with both candidates running very visible and active campaigns, with Warndahl appearing to emerge victorious by a 406 to 391 final tally over Doerr.

District 6 — Masters (I) vs. Miles
Incumbent in District 6 supervisor Brian Masters had a challenge from Mike Miles, with Masters coming out on top, 462-to-304 votes.
District 6 — Magnafici vs. Middleton
Incumbent supervisor Larry Jepson chose not to seek reelection, and had interest from two parties, including former county supervisor Tom Magnafici, who was on the ballot against Amy Middleton.
The contest for Jepson’s former seat drew plenty of active campaigning in the district, and the race was relatively close, but Middleton emerged victorious, by a 482-to-402 vote margin.
All other incumbent supervisors will return to their chairs in the coming weeks.

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