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Beltrami voters mostly mirror statewide results

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Beltrami County voters sided with Democrats in Tuesday's voting, mostly mirroring statewide results.

In final preliminary totals, Beltrami differed from the state only in the race for governor, which was still tight locally.

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Beltrami County voters favored DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch with 50.9 percent of the vote while Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty garnered 43 percent, while the Independency Party's Peter Hutchinson saw only 4.2 percent.

Statewide, Pawlenty won a second term by only 1 percent -- 47 percent to Hatch's 46 percent, while Hutchinson ended with 6 percent.

But Beltrami County voters agreed with the finals in all the other partisan races, siding with Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate at the top of the ticket. In Beltrami, she polled 57.5 percent, compared to 38.5 percent for Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy.

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-7th District, won Beltrami with 74 percent to GOP candidate Michael Barrett's 24.6 percent, with the full district vote showing Peterson winning 69.7 percent and Barrett 29 percent.

In the U.S. House 8th District race, DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar won re-election to a 17th term 63.6 percent to former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, on the GOP ticket, gaining 34.4 percent. Beltrami voters were narrower, giving Oberstar 51.7 percent and Grams 47.2 percent.

Down the ballot, Beltrami County voters also agreed with state voters on DFLers for constitutional offices, siding with Lori Swanson for attorney general, Mark Ritchie for secretary of state and Rebecca Otto for state auditor, all getting between 52 and 55 percent of the county vote.

Cass County

Voters split on races, favoring both Republicans and Democrats.

In the U.S. Senate race, Cass County voters sided with DFLer Klobuchar, 50.7 percent, and giving 45.5 percent to Kennedy.

But in the governor's race, Cass favored Republican Pawlenty for a second term with 51.2 percent of the vote, compared to 41.8 percent for Democrat Hatch. IP's Hutchinson got 5.3 percent.

With Cass in the 8th District, voters supported incumbent Oberstar with 54.4 percent and Grams with 44.1 percent.

In the constitutional offices, voters wanted Republican incumbent Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer over Ritchie and incumbent GOP State Auditor Patricia Anderson over Otto, but nearly tied on attorney general, giving DFLer Swanson 47.3 percent and Republican Jeff Johnson 47 percent.

In the latter race, Swanson was up 39 votes of more than 11,400 cast.

Clearwater County

Voters were also mixed, but in different races than Cass County.

Clearwater County voters did settle on Klobuchar for U.S. Senate, with 51.3 percent of the vote while Kennedy garnered 44.6 percent.

But in the governor's race, Clearwater voters gave Hatch the edge with 47.7 percent and Pawlenty 45.7 percent. They gave Hutchinson 4.6 percent of the vote.

With Clearwater County in the 7th District, voters liked incumbent DFLer Peterson with 68.1 percent over GOP Barrett, at 30.1 percent.

In the constitutional offices, voters favored incumbent Kiffmeyer for secretary of state but DFLer Otto for state auditor but only by 0.75 percent. For attorney general, Clearwater voters sided with DFLer Swanson, 51.4 percent, over Johnson, 43 percent.

Hubbard County

Hubbard County voters agreed to more Republicans than Democrats, giving more GOP votes than most area counties.

In the U.S. Senate race, Hubbard favored Democrat Klobuchar but with 49.8 percent, edging out Republican Kennedy with 46.4 percent.

The county did side with GOP incumbent Gov. Pawlenty with 49 percent, with DFLer Hatch garnering 44.4 percent and IP Hutchinson 4.9 percent.

Incumbent Democrat Oberstar won Hubbard voters in the 8th District U.S. House race, but only with 53 percent, giving GOP challenger Grams 45.6 percent.

In the constitutional officer races, Hubbard County voters wanted GOP candidates in all, favoring incumbents Kiffmeyer and Anderson, and barely approving Johnson, 47.7 percent to Swanson's 46.9 percent.

Precinct-by-precinct results for all counties are available on the secretary of state's Web site, http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/20061107/

Beltrami County's votes will be certified today by the Beltrami County Canvassing Board at 10 a.m. at the County Administration Building.

County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack also said the board will select at random two precincts for something new -- a post-election audit -- which all counties must do this year.

One of the two has to have at least 150 voters or more, Mack said. The actual audit review will be held Nov. 17. The ballots will be hand-counted and compared to the electronic results posted election night.

"The post-election reviews will just measure how accurate the machines are," Mack said Tuesday. "If any is off by a margin of 5 percent, then it kicks in that you audit more townships, or precincts. It just kicks in further and further, but I'm just confident, of course, that we're not going to have any differences and we won't have it kick into a higher level."

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