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Incumbents win handily in Esko area

There will be no new faces on the Thomson Township Board of Supervisors following the 2022 midterm election, as all three incumbent candidates were re-elected to their spots on the board.

The board’s current chairperson, Ruth Janke, defeated Parrish Silbernagel to maintain her seat on the board. Janke brought in 1,810 votes (78.56%), with Silbernagel garnering 482 (20%).

Former chairperson and long-time board member Terry Hill also handily defeated a challenger. Amna Hanson fell short of unseating Hill, with 766 votes (33%) to Hill’s 1,549 votes (67%).

Supervisor Tony Compo ran unopposed.

Janke estimated she’s been on the board going on 22 years, with Hill only a couple years behind her.

Asked what she thought about the election, Janke made a couple different points.

“It says we had a lot of people out to vote,” she told the Pine Knot on Wednesday. “And they voted for those that are interested in the township. We may be longtime officials, but we still have an interest in township government.”

Esko School Board

The Esko School Board will welcome a new board member following the 2022 midterm election, alongside two incumbents who were overwhelmingly re-elected to serve four more years on the board.

Newcomer Robert Johnson is an Esko schools graduate who decided to run for the position to ensure future students, including his own children, receive the same level of education that he did.

“It is a privilege and great honor to be trusted by the Esko community to help continue the tradition of excellence within our school district,” Johnson said in a statement he shared with the Pine Knot. “I look forward to collaborating with the board, administration, staff and community members over the next four years and beyond.”

Incumbents Margaret Sunnarborg and Todd Rengo dominated the school board election, with Sunnarborg taking 1,487 votes and Rengo getting almost as many, with 1,453 votes, roughly 23% each. Johnson had 896 votes, or 14%. Voters could choose three candidates.

Sunnarborg, a long-time Esko teacher, will be serving her fourth term on the board.

Sunnarborg told the Pine Knot: “I would like to thank all those that supported my re-election to the Esko School Board. I am humbled by your support and will do my best to serve the school district in the next four years.”

Rengo, Sunnarborg, and Johnson defeated Russell Kurhajetz (454 votes), Richard Kresky (452 votes), John Feely (696 votes) and Mark Nyholm (830 votes), who were also vying for one of the three open seats on the board.

Vote totals will be canvassed and officially certified at the next Esko School Board meeting Monday, Nov. 14.