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Primary elections will narrow field in northwest Minnesota legislative race

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

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Election Stickers (Forum file photo)
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EAST GRAND FORKS – Voters in Minnesota will have a chance to cast their ballots in a variety of races in the Tuesday, Aug. 9, election, including a northwestern Minnesota primary election to narrow the field of state Senate candidates and a special election to determine if Crookston Public Schools can build a new sports facility.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In the Republican Minnesota District 1 Senate primary, incumbent Sen. Mark Johnson, East Grand Forks, will face Dave Hughes, Karlstad, for a spot in the Nov. 8 election. District 1 encompasses all of Kittson, Roseau, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk and Norman counties, as well as a small portion of northern Clay County.

Johnson was first elected in 2016 and is serving his second term in the Minnesota Senate.

Hughes ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota District 7 in 2016, 2018 and 2020. In 2016 and 2018, he won the primary election, but was defeated in the general election by Democratic incumbent Colin Peterson. In 2020, now U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach beat him in the primary election.


Crookston voters will choose whether to approve a $3.9 million referendum to construct a new multi-sport facility . The facility is planned for district land to the northeast of Crookston High School and would include an artificial turf field, eight-lane track, press box, seating for 750 people, a concession stand and bathrooms. The space could be used for practices and competitions for football, track, soccer and softball, as well as physical education classes.

The district currently uses Ed Widseth Field at the University of Minnesota-Crookston for home track meets and football games. After the university dropped its track and football programs, the facility has started to deteriorate.

Voters in East Grand Forks can vote at one of three voting centers, depending on where they live. Voters in Ward 1 can cast their ballots at the East Grand Forks Senior Center (583 Rhinehart Dr. SE), the City Hall Training Room. Ward 2 votes at the City Hall Training Room on the first floor (600 DeMers Ave. NW). Wards 3, 4 and 5 vote at East Grand Forks Senior High School (1420 4th Ave. NW, Door 2).

In Crookston, Wards 1, 2 and 6 vote at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (1214 University Ave.) and Wards 3, 4, and 5 vote at First Presbyterian Church.

In Thief River Falls, all voting is in the Ralph Engelstad Arena (525 Brooks Ave. N.), with ward locations in the building. In Warren, voting is in the City Hall Council Chambers (120 E Bridge Ave). Voters in Hallock can vote at City Hall (163 3rd St. SE). Voting in Roseau is at the Roseau City Center (121 Center St. E) Voters in Red Lake Fallscan cast their ballots at the Red Lake Falls City (108 2nd St. SW).

Voters can confirm their polling locations at https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ .

InForum columnist Jim Shaw argues it's high time for North Dakota to legalize marijuana. "I have never smoked marijuana, and don’t encourage it," Shaw writes. "However, the time has come for North Dakota, like 19 other states and Washington, D.C. to legalize it, regulate it and bring in millions of dollars in taxes."

Other state elections

In Minnesota Congressional District 7, which covers most of western Minnesota, Democratic candidates Jill Abahsain and Alycia Gruenhagen are vying for a spot on the ballot in November to challenge Fischbach, who is running unopposed on the Republican ticket.


There are four primary elections on Tuesday for governor and lieutenant governor . The Republican, Democratic, Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis and Legal Maijuana Now Parties have contested races to determine which team of candidates will move forward to the November election.

GOP candidates:

  • Scott Jensen and Matt Birk (party-endorsed)
  • Joyce Lynne Lacey and Kent Edwards

DFL candidates:

  • Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan (incumbent)
  • Ole Savior and Julia Parker

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis candidates:

  • Steve Patterson and Matt Huff 
  • Darrell Paulsen and Ed Engelmann

Legal Marijuana Now candidates:

  • James McCaskel and David Sandbeck 
  • Chris Wright and L.C. Lawrence Converse

Both the Republican and Democratic parties are holding primaries for secretary of state.
GOP candidates: 

  • Erik van Mechelen
  • Kim Crockett

DFL candidates:

  • Steve Carlson
  • Steve Simon (incumbent)

The Republican and Democratic parties are also holding primaries for attorney general.
GOP candidates: 


  • Sharon Anderson
  • Doug Wardlow
  • Jim Schultz

DFL candidates:

  • Bill Dahn
  • Keith Ellison (incumbent)
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or iharbo@gfherald.com. Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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