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Murphy elected to Otter Tail County Commission

Betty Murphy has won a seat on the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.

Murphy is best known in Perham for her role as director of the Perham Area Community Center. She beat out her opponent, Robert Lahman of Parkers Prairie, with 52.73 percent of the vote, compared to Lahman’s 47.11 percent.

Betty Murphy

Race results were posted to the state elections website at about midnight Tuesday. Results are considered unofficial until the votes are canvassed mid-month.

Murphy lives with her family in rural Underwood and will represent District 4 on the commission, which includes a large swath of the southeastern portion of the county, including the communities of Ottertail, Deer Creek, Amor, Henning, Parkers Prairie and others.

Murphy and Lahman were both running as newcomers; incumbent Roger Froemming did not seek reelection this term. Froemming recently passed away after 20 years on the county board.

“I’m honored, and I’m looking forward to serving on the board,” Murphy said of her win. “Thank you to the voters. It’s been a fun and exciting run, and I’m ready to get started and do what I can do to work with the county.”

In comments provided to the Perham Focus for a previously published voter’s guide, Murphy said she wants to see local families and communities do well, and believes maintaining and optimizing the county’s services and infrastructure is vital to future growth.

She said her priorities upon joining the board of commissioners will be to listen and understand the needs of District 4, represent those needs and then follow up on them to get the best results for the district.

There was also an open seat on the commission for District 2, which covers the northwestern corner of the county, including the Maplewood State Park area, Vergas, Elizabeth and Pelican Rapids. Incumbent candidate Wayne Johnson, of Pelican Rapids, will retain that seat after overcoming a challenge by Jeff Gontarek, of Erhard, 54.95 percent to 44.81 percent.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 3-year-old son and baby daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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