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Then there were two: Andy Schneider, B.J. Maxson to move on in Grand Forks County sheriff’s race / 3
Andy Schneider2 / 3
B.J. Maxon3 / 3

The Grand Forks County sheriff’s race has been narrowed to two: Andy Schneider and B.J. Maxson.

The two Grand Forks County deputies led the group of seven candidates Tuesday in the primary election. Schneider took the lead with 35 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from all 27 precincts.

Maxson took second with 17 percent of the ballots cast.

The race for third remained close most of the night. As of 10 p.m., the five other candidates were within fewer than 5 percentage points of each other.

Grand Forks Police Deputy Chief Jim Remer took third with 12 percent, followed in order by UND Police Lt. Danny Weigel with 11 percent, County Deputy Chris Hutton with 10 percent, Grand Forks Police Detective Darin Johnson with 8 percent and former County Deputy Mike Lee with 7 percent.

The primary election narrowed the field to two for the general election in November. The hotly contested race drew the most candidates since 2010, when Sheriff Bob Rost won his first election against five other hopefuls.

Rost is retiring at the end of the year as he seeks a seat on the Grand Forks County Commission. He will compete with four candidates, including two incumbents. All five will move on to the general election.

Schneider ran with the message that the race is about the residents of Grand Forks, not himself.

“Grand Forks County is showing what they want in the next sheriff, and I cannot wait to serve them,” he said, adding his foundation is based on faith, family and hard work. “That’s how I am going to serve this department and the county.”

Maxson, who has 26 years of experience with the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, said he was honored and humbled that voters believed in him enough to move him forward to the general election.

“It was a clean campaign by all candidates,” he said, adding he is not done with his campaign or spreading his message by any means. “We just continue our work and put a little more of our effort out there.”

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248