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Gamradt and Notch win commissioner primary

Sauk Centre Herald of Sauk Centre, Minnesota

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Two will face off for January special election

In a close race between five equally qualified candidates for county commissioner, Steve Notch and Dave Gamradt rose to the top.

Notch led all candidates with 879 votes and Gamradt was a close second with 843.

Brad Kirckof finished a close third with 771 votes and Jeff Bertram was fourth with 737. Al Loch finished fifth with 527 votes.

"I've never been in anything political before so I am a little bit overwhelmed," said Gamradt, a Sauk Centre farmer who ran at the urging of friends and relatives. "I thank the people who supported me."

Notch, who lives in Free-port but works in Elrosa, gathered with friends and relatives at his home Tuesday waiting for the results to come in.

"It feels good," he said of the win. "I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to vote. I appreciate the support of everyone out there."

Both Gamradt and Notch will now face each other in a special election in January. They are vying for the fifth district seat left vacant after former commissioner Don Otte passed away.

Kirckof, Sauk Centre's current mayor, and former state representative Bertram ran aggressive campaigns but fell just short of the top two. Loch, from Belgrade, finished a distant fifth.

Gamradt and Notch are expected to take a break from campaigning until after the holidays. They spoke to each other Tuesday night after hearing the results.

"The way I look at it is the county is the winner because we have two good men running for this seat," said Gamradt.

Notch said he wasn't surprised how close the race was.

"We knew it would be anybody's game," he said. "All the candidates have been good sports."

The special election is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

"We'll see what happens," said Gamradt.

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Original Publication Date: November 21, 2013

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