Betsy Roder (545 votes) and Dan Bucholz (459 votes) are the two official candidates for the District 1 Otter Tail County commissioner race. The two winners from the Tuesday, Aug. 11, primary move on to the Nov. 3 general election.
Official results were approved by the canvassing board at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 14., according to Otter Tail County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein.
With their campaigns now moving forward, both Roder and Bucholz are preparing for what will come next in the race.
"It was a really crowded field this first round with the six of us," Roder said. "That really split the vote." Moving forward it will be time to focus more on the strategic aspects of her campaign, she said.
"I am really honored and humbled by the support I've gotten so far," Roder said in a phone interview with the Focus. "It's really been touching. You really have to have some thick skin when you're putting yourself out there and there have been some lower moments. Most of the experiences I've had connecting with people and the support I've had from the community have been amazing. I just feel really grateful and honored for the opportunity to do this."
"I'm overwhelmed," Bucholz said. "In fact, it's a great feeling that somebody has that much confidence in me to run this county -- without really knowing me all that well. They know me, but I feel overwhelmed."
Moving forward in his campaign, Bucholz says he plans to focus on child care for young families and have compassionate nurses caring for the elderly in long term care. "The main thing is, just getting along with the other commissioners and working together," he said. "We can't butt heads like they're doing in Washington, we have to get along. That's one of my main concerns, we all have to get along to get things done and we need to work as a team to get it done together."
A challenge that both campaigns will be facing as they move forward will be safely campaigning with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In this time of COVID and social distancing, I've been doing my best to stay within the COVID guidelines and I'll continue to do that," Roder said. She said, that her campaign has not been doing the door-to-door campaigning.
"Connecting with people is an important part of the campaign process," Roder said. "I really need to get creative on how I can connect with as many people as possible in a safe way."
Bucholz said, that he is not much of a computer guy and has not set up a Facebook presence for his campaign. "I like doing face-to-face as my main (campaigning). I love doing face-to-face with everybody and anybody," he said. "That would be my main one, then paper and the radio. That way, my views get out there. Then if somebody wants to meet with me or wants me to go to their meetings, I'll go and try to explain my views."
Also in the race were Andrew Klinnert (287 votes), Vance Bachmann (387 votes), Marica Huddleston (426 votes), and Rick Snelgrove (202 votes).
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.