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Elections 2020

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  • Smattering of ballots trickle into auditor's office

    Jana Peterson|Nov 13, 2020

    As of Monday afternoon, six days after the election, exactly eight late mail ballots had arrived at the Carlton County auditor’s office, not exactly a game changer. Although the Pine Knot News did not receive a final report from the auditor’s office after the deadline Tuesday, a look at the Secretary of State’s website shows both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates each gained four votes. All late ballots had to be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the end o...

  • Carlton County voters break records, leans DFL (but it's close)

    Nov 6, 2020

    While many polling places in Carlton County were busy Tuesday, Thomson Township voters took it to a whole new level, with many waiting in line for more than an hour in a line that morphed throughout the day. By 4:30 p.m., the line snaked from the side of the parking lot up to the top of the hill behind the building, then back down the side of the grassy field next to the building and around the parking lot before going inside. The fact that most people were trying to stay 6 feet apart was... Full story

  • Carlton county election numbers

    Nov 6, 2020

    The following vote totals are for Carlton County only, with all 38 precincts reporting. These totals are preliminary because the county auditor’s office is accepting mailed ballots that were postmarked by Election Day until Nov. 10. Vote totals are never final until they are canvassed by the governmental body in charge of that jurisdiction. Statewide and districtwide vote totals are noted, depending on the race. U.S. President Joseph R. Biden (DFL) 10,094, 49.58% Donald J. Trump (R) 9,787, 48.07% of Minnesota: Biden 52.4%, Trump 45.2% U.S. S... Full story

  • Updated: Haven't voted yet? Here's what you need to know

    Jana Peterson|Oct 30, 2020

    The months of campaigning are peaking now, with Election Day on Tuesday and both local and national candidates trying to reach people who have yet to vote. Carlton County acting auditor/treasurer Kathy Kortuem wants people to know they can't bring those campaigns to the polls with them on Tuesday. That means no signs, and no T-shirts or facemasks emblazoned with candidate names. "All that stuff should be covered or left in their vehicle," she said. For those voting in person on Tuesday, Kortuem... Full story

  • Watch candidate forums on CAT-7, city website

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    Did you miss the Oct. 21 Cloquet candidate forum? Don’t despair. The forum is running at 6 p.m. every night through Monday, Nov. 5, on CAT-7 for Mediacom cable subscribers. Residents with online access can watch the forum anytime by clicking on this link: https://cloquetmn.new.swagit.com/videos/87477 If that doesn't work, go to cloquetmn.gov. Click on “I want to … watch a meeting,” then choose “archived videos/city council” and “Election Forum.” Online users can choose to watch via video or download an audio MP4 file of the forum. Featured... Full story

  • Carlton school board race needs a write-in

    Pine Knot News|Oct 30, 2020

    With only two candidates running to fill three seats up for election, the Carlton school board will have to make some decisions after canvassing the Nov. 3 vote on Nov. 12. Longtime board member Tim Hagenah is seeking re-election, while chairwoman LaRae Lehto and member Jennifer Chmielewski chose to not seek re-election. Hagenah and Eryn Szymczak are the only candidates on the ballot. Protocol in these situations is to accept the person getting the most write-in votes in the election to fill what will be a vacant seat. If that person chooses... Full story

  • Find more local Voter Guide stories

    Oct 30, 2020

    Find more local Voter Guide stories by clicking on the Elections 2020 tab at the top of the page. We have candidate profiles from all of the contested local school board, municipal, township and county elections. Or stop by our office at 122 Avenue C in Cloquet and pick up a free copy of the Voter Guide....

  • Voters choose to cast ballots early

    Jana Peterson|Oct 23, 2020

    With less than two weeks to go until the Nov. 3 election, almost half of the registered voters in Carlton County have received mail or absentee ballots. As of Friday, Oct. 16, the Carlton County Auditor's office had mailed out 10,648 ballots to voters who had requested absentee ballots or who live in a precinct that votes by mail - out of a total of 21,424 registered voters after the primary. Of those, nearly 6,000 had been returned. It's a year like none other, said acting county... Full story


    Oct 23, 2020

    Editor’s note: The following questions and answers were facilitated by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for its member newspapers. U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber Q If elected, what is your top priority for the 2021 Congress? A Two years ago, one of the focal points of my campaign as a first-time congressional candidate was to let you, the voters, know who I am. I introduced myself to you and shared my story, what my priorities are, and how I wanted to represent the 8th congressional district. P... Full story

  • Voter Guide: U.S. SENATE

    Oct 23, 2020

    Editor’s note: The following questions and answers were facilitated by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for its member newspapers. U.S. Sen Tina Smith Q If elected, what is your top priority for the 2021 Congress? Why are you running for office? A I am running for re-election to continue to fight for all Minnesotans. The rising cost of health care, especially prescription drugs, is the No. 1 issue that I hear about from Minnesotans, which is why the first thing I did when I arrived in the S... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Minnesota Supreme Court

    Oct 23, 2020

    Editor’s note: The following questions and answers were facilitated by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for its member newspapers. Michelle MacDonald Why do you want to be a judge? What are your personal priorities? I have witnessed an unprecedented display of courts abusing their discretion and authority and damaging people and families by their court orders. I want to be a judge in the Court of Appeals to effect change and to hold our judges accountable to equal justice, the rule of law, the Constitution and due process. I advocate a u... Full story

  • Mail-in, absentee ballots abound

    Mike Creger|Oct 2, 2020

    The dynamics of this year's general election brings to mind a question: Is it the pandemic or the rhetoric? Minnesotans are requesting absentee ballots in record numbers for the Nov. 3 election - "Off the charts," as secretary of state Steve Simon said when early voting began Sept. 18. After an August statewide primary that saw 60 percent of the vote come via absentee or mail-in vote, the general election is sure to keep the trend going. In Carlton County, absentee and early in-person voting is... Full story

  • Voter Guide: State Senate, District 11

    Oct 2, 2020

    Michelle Lee, DFL Background My life experience is my qualification. My husband and I built a home and raised a family in Moose Lake. Two pay checks allowed us to enjoy a good life here. My concern is the next generation won’t have the same opportunity unless we work together for our rural communities. Please describe where you stand on the following issues in 25 words or fewer (each): - Statewide pandemic mandates: COVID-19 has claimed lives and livelihoods. Without an effective vaccine, the s... Full story

  • Voter Guide: State Representative, District 11A

    Oct 2, 2020

    Jeff Dotseth Background I am a husband, father, grandfather, farmer, small business owner and a lifelong Minnesota resident. I care deeply for our community and the values we share. I am not a politician, I am just like the people of our district that are tired of not having their voices heard in St. Paul. Please describe where you stand on the following issues in 25 words or fewer (each): -Statewide pandemic mandates: The governor should work with the legislature on managing our response to... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Carlton County Board, District 1

    Oct 2, 2020

    Dick Brenner (incumbent) Background I moved to Cloquet in 1972 with my six children. I have a finance degree and over 40 years of corporate accounting experience. My wife, Liz, and I volunteered locally, including teaching junior achievement. I have served on many boards, including the Cloquet School Board and Wells Fargo Community Board. What made you decide to run for county commissioner this year? I enjoy public service, even in the challenging times of coronavirus. My fellow commissioners... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Cloquet School Board

    Oct 2, 2020

    Karin Sabyan Background I have a bachelor's degree in business as well as a certificate in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount University. I have been in the education field for 18 years. From events, fundraising, classroom volunteer, PIE chair, kindergarten aide, PE teacher, coach, preschool teacher, director and currently as vice principal. What made you decide to run for school board this year? With everything going on in our world, sometimes it seems there's nothing we can d... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Carlton County Board, District 5

    Oct 2, 2020

    Gary Peterson (incumbent) Background I was born and raised on a farm in Carlton County. I have had many different jobs and life experiences that give me the ability to relate and understand people. I have degrees in government, teaching, counseling and coaching. I have a great knowledge of current county issues. What made you decide to run for county commissioner this year? I am running out of a desire to be involved in my community. I want to make sure the tax dollars of our citizens are being... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Soil and Water Supervisor, District 4

    Oct 2, 2020

    Kim Samuelson (incumbent) Background I have been an SWCD board supervisor for much of the past eight years. I also spent many years working with other organizations that emphasize natural resources. This experience and knowledge has helped me understand the importance of conserving and protecting the natural resources of our communities, state, and country. What made you decide to run for the Soil and Water Conservation District? I do all I can to help protect and conserve our beautiful natural... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Cloquet City Council, Ward 5

    Oct 2, 2020

    Dennis Painter Background I was born and raised in Cloquet. I am a proud 1995 CHS graduate, earned my AAS from FDLTCC and my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from UWS. I am proudly employed at SAPPI, my children attend Cloquet Public Schools and my wife teaches at Washington School. What made you decide to run for city council this year? Cloquet is currently doing many great things, and I feel like we have the potential, the resources and the human capital to do so m... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Esko school board

    Oct 2, 2020

    A note from Julian Bertogliat I have decided not to run for re-election for the upcoming term. I have been a school board member for three terms and my health issues are telling me it's time to retire. I have spent over 50 years serving the Esko schools in many capacities and will continue to help in any way I can. I want to thank the Esko community for the support they have given me throughout my years of service. Sincerely, Julian Bertogliat ***** Mark Nyholm Background I am a husband, a... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Thomson Township Supervisor, Seat C

    Oct 2, 2020

    Bill Gerard (incumbent) Background I've been an Esko resident for over 25 years, married 42 years, graduated four children from Esko, and have seven grandchildren. I bring 18 years of experience on the town board. I recently retired after 38 years with Potlatch/Sappi. I am loyal, hardworking, and dedicated to my principles. What made you decide to run for township office this year? Growing up, I watched my father as he served his community by actively participating in local politics, church and... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Wrenshall school board

    Oct 2, 2020

    Karola Dalen Background My husband, Rick, and I have two children at Wrenshall School and have lived in Wrenshall for 14 years. Our family owns and operates Northern Harvest Farm. In addition, I work for Carlton County. My professional career has been primarily in the public sector working in environmental protection and conservation. What made you decide to run for school board this year? I was asked by someone whom I trust and respect. After careful consideration due to the responsibility, I... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Thomson Township Supervisor, Seat D

    Oct 2, 2020

    Jason Paulson (incumbent) Background Born and raised in Thomson Township, graduate University of Minnesota, ten-year Marine Corps veteran, current airline pilot and assistant chief pilot/instructor at Lake Superior College. Husband of an environmental engineer, MN Water Quality designated cattle farmer on the Midway River. Steadfastly served the community as township supervisor for four years. I am the treasurer for our ambulance service provider- Cloquet Area Fire District, Arrowhead Regional... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Moose Lake School Board

    Oct 2, 2020

    Donna Kirk Background As a licensed teacher, my experience spans over twenty years of teaching both in person and online in K12 schools as well as in higher ed preparing future K12 teachers. For seven years I have directed a grant funded program to provide STEM opportunities in conjunction with local public schools. What made you decide to run for school board this year? As a newer member of the community, I have experience and a fresh perspective that I desire to use to serve the Moose Lake... Full story

  • Voter Guide: Holyoke Town Clerk

    Oct 2, 2020

    Rosanne Haynes Background I am a retired school teacher. My husband, George, and I raised 3 daughters in Holyoke and have five grandchildren. I enjoy riding bicycle, taking walks, watching birds and wildlife, solving puzzles, reading, and traveling. What made you decide to run for township office this year? I am running for re-election this year after serving my community as township clerk for nine years. I have enjoyed being an active participant in the township, and part of the collaboration w... Full story

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