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Dakota City Infrastructure

Potholes are seen at the intersection of Myrtle Street and North 17th Street in Dakota City on April 28. City voters will decide Tuesday on whether to raise the sales tax by half a cent to fix critical infrastructure.

DAKOTA CITY -- Nebraska voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect Republican and Democratic nominees for a bevy of federal, state and county offices.

In Dakota County, a large field of candidates are seeking two open county commission seats. Republican incumbents William "Billy" Rhode of Homer and Kevin Love of South Sioux City each decided not to seek another four-year term.

The top two Republicans and Democrats with the most votes in Tuesday's primary will advance to the November general election.

The crowded nine-candidate GOP field includes Richard McNear of Hubbard, Janet Gill of Jackson, Troy Launsby of Homer, Jasper J. Kriens of South Sioux City, Dennis W. Harris of Homer, Maira Tripp of South Sioux City, Greg Utech of Hubbard, Kevin Chambers of Homer and Bill McLarty of South Sioux City.

McLarty is a former Dakota County commissioner and South Sioux City mayor and councilman.

Four Democrats -- Ron Hartnett of Dakota City, Larry Albenesius of Jackson, Randy Groetken of Dakota City and Lue Franco of South Sioux City -- are on Tuesday's ballot, competing for two slots on the general election ballot. Bill Engle, a former county commissioner, is waging a write-in campaign.

In Dakota County, Assessor Jeff Curry, Attorney Kim Watson, Clerk Joan Spencer, Clerk of District Court Phyllis Obermeyer, Public Defender Louvontree Hunter, Sheriff Chris Kleinberg and Treasurer Robert Giese are all running unopposed. Curry, Spencer and Kleinberg are Republicans, while Watson, Obermeyer, Hunter and Giese are Democrats.

In Tuesday's election, Dakota City voters also will consider whether to raise the city's sales tax by a half cent to finance a prioritized list of backlogged infrastructure projects, of which fire hydrants are at the top.

If approved, it would raise the overall sales tax rate in the city to 6.5 percent, effective Jan. 1. Along with fire hydrants, the added revenue also could eventually fund replacement of catch basins and street panels and inspection of storm sewers.

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and GOP U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer are each running for their second terms.

In Tuesday's GOP primary, Ricketts faces a longshot intraparty challenge from Krystal Gabel, an Akron, Iowa, native and graduate of Briar Cliff University.

State Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha, a Republican during nine of his 10 years in the Nebraska Legislature, is considered the favorite in the Democratic race for governor. He is competing with Vanessa Gayle Ward and Tyler A. Davis in the primary election.

Four candidates are challenging Fischer for the GOP nomination in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday. They include Jack Heidel, Dennis Frank Macek, Jeffrey Lynn Stein and Todd F. Watson.

The Democratic candidates are Jane Raybould, Frank B. Svoboda, Larry Marvin and Chris Janicek. Jim Schultz is the Libertarian candidate.

In Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District, which is the state's largest geographically, a trio of GOP candidates are challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Adrian Smith. The challengers include Kirk Penner of Aurora, Larry Lee Scott Bolinger of Alliance and Arron Kowalski of Grand Island.

Paul Theobald of Osmond is the lone Democratic candidate in the sprawling 3rd District, which is largely rural and Republican-leaning. It includes the northeast Nebraska counties of Dakota, Dixon, Cedar and Wayne.

In the state's 1st Congressional District, which includes Thurston County, Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry will automatically advance to the general election. Democrats Jessica McClure and Dennis P. Crawford will be on the ballot. Democrat Steve Svoboda of Lincoln is running as a write-in candidate.

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Visit for a detailed voter’s guide to Tuesday’s primary election in Nebraska.


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