Betsy Roder and Dan Bucholz were the top vote-getters in the Tuesday, Aug. 11, primary race for the District 1 Otter Tail County commission seat.

While results were not yet official, Roder and Bucholz are poised to face off in the Nov. 3 general election.

Six candidates were on the ballot in District 1.

“Two candidates from District No. 1 and two candidates form District No. 3 will move forward to the General Election Ballot,” Otter Tail County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein said in an email to the Focus.

As of 11:09 p.m. on Aug. 11, with all 17 Otter Tail County precincts reporting in District 1, Roder was in the lead with 524 votes followed by Dan Bucholz with 454 votes.

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District 1 County Commissioner Candidate Besty Roder. (Submitted photo)
District 1 County Commissioner Candidate Besty Roder. (Submitted photo)

District 1 County Commissioner Candidate Dan Bucholz. (Submitted photo)
District 1 County Commissioner Candidate Dan Bucholz. (Submitted photo)

Also in the race were Andrew Klinnert (279 votes), Vance Bachmann (380 votes), Marica Huddleston (423 votes), and Rick Snelgrove (201).

Ottertail County’s District 1 covers Blowers Township, Butler Township, Corliss Township, Dead Lake Township, City of Dent, Edna Township, Gorman Township, Hobart Township, Homestead Township, New York Mills, Newton Township, Paddock Township, Perham Township, city of Perham, Pine Lake Township, city of Richville, and Rush lake Township.

There were five candidates in District 3 in southwest Otter Tail County.

Voting for the primary election for Perham residents took place in Perham’s City Hall while voting for Perham and Pine Lake Townships took place at the Perham Area Community Center (PACC).

Heather Hoeft, head election judge for the city of Perham, said at about 11 a.m. on Election Day that voter turnout had been fairly steady since the polls opened.

Election official for Perham and Pine Lake townships Teresa Ingebrand said that voter turnout for the townships was also going steady. According to Ingebrand, a low voter turnout was expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, turnout had been good and voters have complied with the social distancing and COVID precautions they were asked to take while voting.

Both the city of Perham and the townships reported an increase in absentee ballots for the primary election, which is most likely due to the pandemic. The county handles all absentee ballots, said Sharon Loerzel, election official for Perham and Pine Lake townships.