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Top six appear to be set for Grand Forks County Commission race

In what is essentially a primary race, the top six vote-getters of the eight candidates who ran will move on to the General Election in November.

The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks County Commission race has concluded, and while final votes still need to be tallied, Bob Rost, Kimberly Hagen, Lon Kvasager, Mark Rustad, Tom Falck and K.C. Inman all appear to be moving on to the General Election.

In what is essentially a primary race, the top six vote-getters of the eight candidates move on to the General Election in November.

Eight candidates — including incumbents Tom Falck and Bob Rost, who are running for reelection — are seeking three seats. Diane Knauf did not seek reelection after serving as a commissioner for 16 years. The new candidates for the open commission seats are Kimberly Hagen, K.C. Inman, Jordon Klava, Lon Kvasager, Vanessa Richter and Mark Rustad. Of the new candidates, most cited business or financial experience as their main qualification for running. Klava served in the National Guard and deployed to Iraq.

With more than 16,000 votes and all precincts fully reporting, Klava and Richter are the two candidates left out as the rest move on to the General Election.

Rost led all vote-getters with 23.26% of the vote, or 3,768 total votes. Hagen sits in second with 12.93% and 2,094 votes, Kvasager is third with 12.59 % and 2,040 votes, Rustad is fourth with 12.23% and 1,982 votes, Falck is fifth with 11.94% and 1,934 votes and sixth is Inman with 10.12% and 1,640. Sitting in seventh and eighth place are Klava with 8.78% and 1,423 total votes and Richter with 7.95% and 1,288 votes.

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Vote totals are unofficial, preliminary results.

READ MORE ABOUT THE 2022 ELECTIONS
A committee is pushing a plan that will ask voters to decide whether to adopt a home-rule charter, which would allow the county to implement a sales tax increase that would spread the burden of paying for those necessary facility and infrastructure upgrades.

Each candidate, save for Richter, told the Herald what their biggest concerns for the commission going forward were in the weeks leading up to the election via a questionnaire (Richter did not return the questionnaire). Most cited fiscal issues as their primary concern should they be elected. Other concerns included repairing infrastructure and flood damage, child care and boosting community engagement.

The annual salary for a commissioner is $20,124.24.

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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