Voting Ballot STOCK

A sample ballot is seen at Woodbury County Courthouse in Sioux City, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Sioux City Journal Photo by Justin Wan

Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal

KINGSLEY, Iowa | A few school board elections in Northwest Iowa Tuesday ended in close finishes, while in some others write-in candidates won seats.

In Kingsley-Pierson, voters elected Kate Pratt and Jason Collins. Pratt had 160 votes, while Collins edged Blake Laddusaw by just three votes, 107-104, for the second at-large seat, in unofficial results.

Just three votes separated the second- and third-place finishers in another Plymouth County district. Erin Weiland won one open at-large seat in Hinton with 92 votes. James D. Binneboese captured the second seat with 65, narrowly beating John Reintzel, who had 62 votes.

In most districts, candidates ran unopposed, while in some districts, spots on the ballot were left blank, meaning the district residents with the most write-in votes won election.

For the three open seats on the Woodbury Central board, just one candidate -- Bradley Koele -- filed for the ballot. Koele won election Tuesday, along with two write-in candidates with the most votes -- Clint Thomsen and Donny Reblitz. Counting write-ins, Koele had 136 votes, Thomsen, 113, and Reblitz, 85, in unofficial results.

Others with write-in votes were Steve Steffen, a school board member who did not seek re-election, with 22 votes, and Kelly Manker, a former Woodbury Central coach and teacher, with 21 votes.

In Le Mars, Dave Miller won a seat representing District 4 with 59 write-in votes. Brenda Phelan was the next closest with three write-ins. Todd Lancaster and Scott Kommes also won seats on the Le Mars board, for Districts 1 and 2, respectively.

In one of most contested races in Northwest Iowa, seven candidates competed for two seats on the Okoboji School Board. Juli Johnson finished first with 367 votes, while the second seat went to Brad Droegmiller with 168 votes. The two winners outdistanced Cheryl Aumer, 161, James Slipke, 138, Todd Gonneman, 136, Daniel Winkowitsch, 83, and Shannon Anderson, 29.

In the Sergeant Bluff-Luton district, Michael Laughlin and David Schaar were uncontested for the two open seats on the board.

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