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Leith election delayed until fall

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Leith Mayor Ryan Schock, right, and Grant County Commissioner Miles Stoller attend a meeting in June where a special election was set to dissolve the city of Leith. That election has been moved to fall.

A vote to turn the Grant County village of Leith into an unincorporated village and do away with city government will be delayed until fall.

A vote by the 16 or so residents whether to dissolve their town government was to be held Monday, but now is set to be part of the November general election.

Grant County Auditor Lynn Mutschelknaus said the July date set by the Grant County Commission was too soon to meet Century Code provisions. Rather than hold a special election in late September when it would qualify, she’s planning to put the question to Leith residents along with the general ballot.

Mayor Ryan Schock, who was re-elected in April, carried a petition to disband the town when a couple he associates with the town’s white supremacist history were elected by write-in votes to the city council. Michael Bencz and Deby Nelson deny any association with Craig Cobb, who attempted to turn Leith into a neo-Nazi community and was jailed for armed terrorizing. The couple bought property from Cobb when he started buying and selling abandoned Leith property in 2013.

Schock said he hopes dissolving the town will be the end of the Cobb legacy.

“Nobody can take over the government without a government,” Schock said earlier.

Cobb’s four-year probation ended in April. He continues to live in Sherwood.

(Reach Lauren Donovan at 701-220-5511 or lauren@westriv.com.)

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