Kozak, Christopherson, Hofman will lead Vermillion city government Granaas will fill vacancy on school board by David Lias Vermillion mayoral candidates Roger Kozak and Roger Jeck, Central Ward alderman candidate Dan Christopherson, and Vermillion School Board candidate Jon Robertson had to play a nerve-wracking waiting game Tuesday night.
They all visited the Clay County Courthouse shortly after election polls closed at the National Guard Armory in Vermillion.
They witnessed the counting of ballots and hoped to quickly learn the outcomes of their campaigns for local government office.
They had to be patient, however. The new ballot tabulating machine purchased by the county approximately two years ago gave City Finance Officer Mike Carlson, County Auditor Ruth Brunick, and other election officials fits for most of the night.
By 9 p.m., two hours after polls closed, the outcome of the joint city/school election was finally determined.
There will be two new faces on the city council beginning in May. Dan Christopherson, a Vermillion businessman and former director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce, defeated Mary Edelen at the polls in the race for Central Ward alderman.
Christopherson will fill a vacancy on the council left by Barbara Yelverton, who chose not to seek re-election to city office and will, instead, be running for a spot on the Clay County Commission in June.
Christopherson received 129 votes, 56.58 percent, and Edelen received 99 votes, 43.42 percent.
Incumbent Southeast Ward Alderman Jere Chapman, a Vermillion restaurant owner who recently announced his intention to run for the state Legislature, narrowly lost his bid for re-election to Ray Hofman, who recently retired after a long career as a detective with the Vermillion Police Department.
Hofman received 317 votes, 53.64 percent, edging Chapman who received 274 votes, 46.36 percent.
Chapman was appointed to the city council last year to fill a vacancy created when the council elected Alderman Roger Kozak as the city's mayor following the death of William Radigan.
Kozak handily won re-election in his first city-wide race for the mayor's office. Kozak received 848 votes, 74.71 percent. His opponent, Roger Jeck, collected 287 votes, 25.29 percent.
Vermillion's two new aldermen will soon find themselves dealing with issues that the city council has been wrestling with for months, and in some cases, years.
They include proposed improvements to Chestnut Street, the hiring of a new city manager and the possibility of converting the private gas utility to a city owned utility.
In a close Vermillion School Board race, Michael Granaas, a psychology professor at The University of South Dakota, defeated Jon Robertson, manager of a Vermillion restaurant.
Granaas received 559 votes, 55.02 percent; Robertson gathered 457 votes, 44.98 percent.