By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
NORTH MANKATO — Incumbents had either won or had a solid lead at press time in the three races for Nicollet County commissioner seats.
Jack Kolars had 1,916 votes to beat challenger Bill Schindle’s 1,572 in the District 4 race. Schindle, who left the North Mankato City Council after serving for 20 years, said he made a bid for the County Board because he was concerned about how funding cuts were increasing property taxes.
He was challenging the board’s longest-serving member by taking on Kolars, a Realtor and radio host who has been on the board for 15 years.
“I believe I have demonstrated the experience to serve the citizens of the district and the county in a fair and common sense fashion,” Kolars said in October.
James Stenson defeated challenger David Johnson by 312 votes with a final of 1,382 to 1,070 in the District 2 race. Stenson had nearly 56 percent of the votes.
With 14 years on the County Board, Stenson said his experience as a certified public accountant has helped him during the county’s budget process. Johnson, who is the Oshawa Township chairman, said he would have pushed for more growth for agriculture and industry in the county.
Stenson has served on the county’s Criminal Justice Committee. He also said he has taken an interest in child protection, education and bringing organizations together to provide support to families. The budget process is the most challenging
With two of four precincts reporting, Marie Dranttel was beating challenger Terry Genelin 395 votes to 187 in the District 1 race. Dranttel also cited her experience as a certified public accountant.