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Dachtler secures Grand Forks School Board seat

A candidate for a two-year term on the Grand Forks Public School Board said he will not ask for a recount, securing the win for the top vote-getter in a close race.

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A candidate for a two-year term on the Grand Forks Public School Board said he will not ask for a recount, securing the win for the top vote-getter in a close race.

Katie Dachtler, an immigration paralegal for Swanson Law Office, won the seat during the primary election June 14 with 2,102 of the 6,918 votes cast, or 30.4 percent, according to results finalized by a Grand Forks County canvassing board.

Tim Lamb, an attorney who grabbed 2,072 votes, trailed Dachtler by 0.43 percent, meaning he could have demanded a recount, something he previously said he intended to do.

But Lamb said Thursday he would not ask for a recount.

"Even though 30 votes is not a big margin, votes are all tallied by machine, so it's pretty accurate and there probably wouldn't be a change in the recount," he said as he offered congratulations to Dachtler and wished her luck.

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Linda Jenkins, a part-time director of special education for the Upper Valley Special Education Unit, also could have demanded a recount since she won 2,071 votes and trailed Dachtler by 0.44 percent, but she told the Herald last week she would not do so.

"I'm very happy for her," she said of Dachtler. "I would have voted for her if I wasn't running myself."

Roland Riemers, who is self-employed in the real estate investment and management industry, grabbed 643 votes, or 9.3 percent. He did not qualify for the recount.

Thirty votes, or 0.43 percent, were write-ins.

A candidate who qualified to demand for a recount had until Thursday to file for the recount.

Dachtler said she understood the possible recount was a part of the process but was glad to hear she had secured the seat. Her goal is to create a connection between the board and community so decisions are based upon input from residents and are done in the best interest of students, staff, faculty and the school, she said.

Dachtler was elected with four other candidates. Newcomer Amber Flynn had the most votes in a race for four four-year term seats. Eric Lunn and Matt Spivey were re-elected to the board and Cynthia Shabb also secured a board seat.

Incumbent Ward Johnson was ousted during the election. Other candidates who fell short in their bids to join the board were Kevin Kuntz, Alex Reichert, Angela Harrison-Urlacher, Lee Hensrud, Casey Hammer, Gabe Kilzer and Paul George.

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Of the 25,729 votes cast in that race, 63 votes were write-ins.

School Board members earn an annual $4,000 salary. New members will join the board July 11.

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