Canvass

Morton County Auditor Dawn Rhone, left, and Morton County Commissioner Bruce Strinden watch as a voting machine is started during a meeting of the canvassing board to certify the June 12 election. In back is Nancy Seefeldt.

In a close race, Amber Larson has won a Mandan City Commission seat.

With 11 votes more than incumbent Shauna Laber, Larson clinched the second of two seats up for grabs in Mandan’s city commission election, amid four opponents. Morton County's canvassing board counted remaining absentee ballots and certified results on Monday.

With low voter turnout — about 14 percent in Morton County — Larson highlighted the importance of every vote in close elections.

“It shows again how important it is for everybody to get out in the primary elections and have their voice heard,” she said.

She will take office June 26. Dennis Rohr also won re-election to a third term in the June 12 primary.

Laber said she’s happy for Larson and the democratic process.

“I just think that Amber ran an incredibly amazing campaign,” Laber said Monday. “I think she did a great job reaching out to the community, and I hope she continues down that path and represents the community well. She reached her goal and I’m glad she attained it and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does with the city.”

Laber could request a recount based on the vote difference, but said she will not.

“I have a lot of faith in the Morton County auditor and her staff,” she said. “I don’t think the Russians invaded.”

Rohr said his four opponents made him work hard for re-election. He said he visited about 2,400 residences and logged more than 85 miles of travel.

“They were really good candidates,” he said. “Each one had a strong point. I didn’t know which direction it was going to go.”

Rohr garnered 974 votes, with Larson receiving 910, Laber 899, Ashley Kelsch 845 and Bee Maloney 382, according to final results.

Morton County Auditor Dawn Rhone said turnout was “pretty low” and typical for a primary, with more votes cast than in the 2014 primary, probably owing to the contested city commission race this time.

With the counties’ election results certified, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said the state’s canvassing board will meet this morning in his office.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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Crime and Courts Reporter