New faces added to local offices

Voters in Clay County decided Tuesday to return some familiar faces to county and legislative offices, while adding some new people to the mix.

In the two-person race for District 17 state senator, former State Rep. Eldon Nygaard of Vermillion defeated challenger Terri Jorgenson. Nygaard received 3,894 votes, and Jorgenson received 3,396.

 In the race for two District 17 House seats, Republican incumbent Jamie Boomgarden won re-election with 3,877 votes, followed by Tom Jones, with 3,575. The two other challengers, Ron Nelson and Patricia A. Norin, received 2,934 and 2,644 votes respectively.

In a five-person race for two Clay County Commission seats, incumbent Les Kephart and newcomer Phyllis Packard garnered the most votes, with 1,797 and 1,625 respectively to win.

They were the top vote-getters, defeating Leonard Rasmussen, who received 1,545 votes; Grant Sammelson, who received 1,457; and Jere Chapman, with 1,456.

Local voters bucked the statewide trend in the race for South Dakota's lone U.S. House seat, favoring Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin over Republican Kristi Noem 59 percent to 35 percent. Independent B. Thomas Marking received just over 5 percent.

In the governor's race, Clay County voters bucked statewide trends, but just barely. The Democratic Scott Heideprime/Ben Arndt ticket was favored locally, receiving 2,339 votes. The Republican Dennis Daugaard/Matt Michels ticket received 2,301 votes in the county.

Of Clay County's 8,463 active voters, 4,763 cast ballots, which translates into about 56 percent turnout.

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