No shortage of candidates for June 1

No shortage of candidates for June 1 by David Lias According to recent coffee-shop conversation in Vermillion, one of the goals of an informal group of citizens this spring was to establish an alderman race in every ward of the city.

Those efforts have been successful. For the first time in years, there is a long slate of candidates seeking election to the Vermillion City Council.

The deadline to file nominating petitions for the city vote, scheduled Tuesday, June 1 to coincide with South Dakota's special U.S. House election, was 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Incumbent Mayor Roger Kozak is being challenged for that office by Central Ward Alderman Dan Christopherson.

Jon P. Callahan and Kent L. Osborne are vying for the upcoming vacancy on the council from the Northeast Ward.

Former Northwest Ward alderman Joe Grause will attempt to win back his position on the city council in a race with incumbent Alderman John (Jack) Powell.

A new face is guaranteed to sit on the city council after the election representing the Central Ward. Roger Jeck, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor two years ago, and former longtime state legislator Mary Edelen, who was defeated in her bid for the city council by Christopherson in 2002, hope to be chosen by voters to represent the ward.

Jere Chapman, who lost his bid for re-election to the city council as Southeast Ward alderman in 2002, is challenging the man who defeated him � incumbent Ray Hofman.

Vermillion School Board

There will be no election for Vermillion School Board in June to fill two vacancies.

Incumbent Nick Merrigan will seek re-election. Floyd Boschee has decided not to return to the board after his term ends. Chris Girard has filed nominating petitions, and will replace Boschee on the board.

Clay County

Republicans will choose three candidates filing for the three at-large Clay County Commission seats. The GOP hopefuls include incumbents Mary Jensen of Gayville and William Willroth Sr. of Vermillion and newcomers Colin Olsen and Paul Jensen, both of Wakonda.

The three Democratic candidates advancing to the general election are incumbent Ralph Westergaard of Burbank and challengers Leo Powell and Rodney Nelsen, both of Vermillion.

Incumbents filing without opposition were Republican Tami Bern of Burbank for state's attorney and Democrat Catherine Powell of Vermillion for treasurer.

No candidates filed for coroner, currently held by Alton Siecke of Vermillion.

District 17 House

Candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties will advance to the November general election as they seek District 17's offices in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Democrats James D. Johnson and former state Sen. John (Joe) Reedy, both of Vermillion, and Republicans Jamie M. Boomgarden, Chancellor, and incumbent Donna Schafer, Vermillion, will be on the November ballot hoping to get elected to the two seats in Pierre.

Reedy couldn't seek re-election to the South Dakota Senate because of term limits.

District 17 Senate

Republicans voters in District 17 will be asked to decide between former state Rep. Judy Clark and James Larsen, both of Vermillion, to be their party's candidate in the district's state senate race.

Either Clark or Larsen will face Democrat B.J. Nesselhuf, Vermillion, in November.

Nesselhuf currently serves District 17 in the state House, and hopes to be elected to the state Senate.

U.S. Representative

The vacancy caused in the U.S. House of Representatives by Bill Janklow's resignation in January following his manslaughter conviction will be filled following a June 1 special House election.

Democratic Stephanie Herseth, Brookings, who unsuccessfully ran for the office against Janklow in 2002, will face Republican Larry Diedrich, a former state legislator from Elkton.

The winner of the June vote will complete Janklow's term, which is scheduled to end in December.

So despite the outcome of this race, it's likely that Herseth and Diedrich will face each once again in November's general election to be elected to a new term in the House.

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