Congratulations to our elected board members: Subdistrict 1 - Mike Krueger of Pierce; Subdistrict 3 - Bob Huntley of Norfolk; Subdistrict 3 - Scott McHenry of Norfolk; Subdistrict 4 - Dave Kathol of Norfolk; Subdistrict 4 - Bob Noonan of Humphrey; Subdistrict 5 - Jerry Allemann of Wayne; Subdistrict 6 - Matt Steffen of West Point; and Subdistrict 7 - Gary Loftis of Craig. Read more in the Norfolk Daily News article below:
Two incumbents lose seats on Lower Elkhorn NRD board
By KELLY SCHNOOR
With many contested races for Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District seats, eight — and possibly nine — subdistrict winners emerged on Election Day. But some incumbents weren’t among the top vote-getters.
One of those races was in the NRD’s subdistrict 5 where incumbent David Shelton of Wayne lost to challenger Jerry Allemann of Wayne. Allemann received 3,264 votes, while Shelton garnered 1,194.
"I had local people that supported me and encouraged me, and I'm happy with how the results were." Allemann said after the results were known. Allemann said he has been attending NRD meetings in previous years as a farmer within the district. "I'm well aware that we need to conserve our water … But we also have areas where there is plenty of groundwater," he said. "We just have to move forward cautiously," he said, referring to future water use.
Another incumbent who won’t be returning to the NRD board is Danny Kluthe of Dodge, who was defeated by challenger Matt Steffen of West Point to represent subdistrict 6. Steffen won the race with 2,815 votes to Kluthe's 2,096 votes.
Steffen said he wasn't sure how the race would go, but he's happy with the results. Now that he's been elected he wants to deal with issues as they come and always continue to learn. "One of the main things is listen to what people in the district say and work with them and do a good job or representing them," Steffen said about his priorities during his time on the board.
In subdistrict 3, Scott McHenry of Norfolk won the race. McHenry received 2,403 votes to Roy Srymanske's 831.
"Everything went well," McHenry said. "I just would like to thank everyone who voted for me." But this race was technically over before the voting even began. That’s because Srymanske moved out of the subdistrict recently, meaning he couldn’t have served even if elected. But his move was recent enough that his name still remained on the ballot. McHenry said he is looking forward to working with the NRD staff and other board members during his term. Something McHenry said he will focus on going forward is water issues. "(They) are the hot topic around here, so anything concerning water rights for all users is the most important," he said.
David Kathol, also of Norfolk, won a four-year seat representing subdistrict 4. Kathol received 2,229 votes, while his opponent Eugene Hemmer of Humphrey received 1,863 votes.
Kathol said being a longtime Northeast Nebraskan and working locally factored in to his success. "People know me. I've been in this area for about 40 years," Kathol said. "It's an awesome responsibility and I'll try to do my best." Education is still going to be a big thing, Kathol said, regarding his priorities for his term. "I'm going to try to make things fair for everybody, but also keep in mind that we are sitting on a valuable resource that we need to guard and use properly," he said.
For a two-year seat representing Subdistrict 4, Bob Noonan of Humphrey won by receiving 2,702 votes to the 1,494 won by Robert Lueninghoener of Stanton.
"I'm very passionate about making sure we conserve our resources but also that we're able to use it as well. I just want to represent my subdistrict well," Noonan said. Noonan, who had been appointed to the NRD board and was seeking election for the first time, said one of his main focuses for this term will be water mandates. Noonan said that he wants to ensure that "we are sensitive to making sure we do not economically damage businesses in our district while being careful with the conservation and the purity of the water."
Incumbent Gary Loftis of Craig won re-election to a subdistrict 7 seat with 2,950 votes over Paul Chamberlain, also of Craig, who received 1,789 votes.
Loftis attributed his success in the race simply to name recognition more than anything else. "I'm very satisfied with the amount of support from local counties. That makes me happy," Loftis said. The whole idea of NRDs is local control, Loftis said, and going forward he said that his focus will be continuing that local voice in the decisions made about what is done with natural resources. "We're getting to the point where we can make some developments," he said.
Running unopposed for a subdistrict 1 seat was incumbent Michael Krueger of Pierce. Also running unopposed was Robert Huntley of Norfolk for a subdistrict 3 seat.
In subdistrict 2, there were no candidates on the ballot, but Mark Hall of Norfolk, who recently was appointed to the seat, was seeking write-in votes and did receive 19 of them in Madison County voting. Those results, however, are not yet final.