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District 12A Republicans have primary choice Tuesday

MORRIS – In Minnesota’s primary election this Tuesday, Aug. 12, residents of Stevens County will have the chance to vote in several races, including a primary race to determine the Republican challenger in House District 12A.

Jeff Backer of Browns Valley and Nancy Taffe of Morris hope to challenge incumbent Jay McNamar (DFL-Elbow Lake) for the seat in November.

Backer received the Republican endorsement at the District 12A nominating convention in March. In April, Taffe announced she would continue her campaign for the House by challenging Backer in a primary. House District 12A includes all of Stevens, Traverse Grant, Wilkin and Big Stone counties and the western half of Pope and Douglas counties.

There are several primary races at the state and national level as well including Minnesota governor/lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, and a U.S. senator.

In Minnesota partisan primary elections, voters do not need to publically declare affiliation with a party — they are free to vote for any one political party on the ballot. Voting for candidates from more than one party voids all votes in the party portion of the ballot.

The front of the ballot will have a column for each major political party and their candidates. Primary ballots do not allow for write-in votes. Voters can view their sample ballot at

In the cities of Morris, Hancock, Alberta, Donnelly, and Chokio voting hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All township voting hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To find your polling place, visit

There will be no primary elections for the two seats on the Stevens County Board of Commissioners, sheriff, county attorney, auditor/treasurer, recorder or open seats as Soil and Water Supervisors.

City of Morris and Morris Area School District elections are not subject to primaries. The filing period for city council and school board seats runs through Tuesday, Aug. 12.

As of Friday, Nancy Huot and Liza Kurtz had filed for one open two-year term on the school board. Mike Odello is the only candidate for two open four-year terms.

Candidates interested in running for the school board should file at the District Office (201 South Columbia Avenue). Candidates will need to specify whether they are running for a four-year or two-year term.

On the city side, Sheldon Giese has filed for mayor. Brian Solvie and Geoff Richardson have filed for two open seats on the city council. Candidates interested in filing for city offices should do so at Morris City Hall (609 Oregon Avenue).

Township/City Name and Polling Place

  • Alberta – Alberta City Hall
  • Pepperton – Alberta City Hall
  • Scott – Alberta City Hall
  • Synnes – Alberta City Hall
  • Baker – St. Mary’s Hall-Chokio
  • Chokio – St. Mary’s Hall-Chokio
  • Everglade – St. Mary’s Hall-Chokio
  • Stevens – St. Mary’s Hall-Chokio
  • Darnen – Morris American Legion-Backroom
  • Horton – Morris American  Legion-Backroom
  • Donnelly – Donnelly City Hall
  • Donnelly Twp. – Donnelly City Hall
  • Eldorado – Donnelly City Hall
  • Rendsville – Donnelly City Hall
  • Swan Lake – Swan Lake Town Hall
  • Framnas – USDA Soils Lab
  • Morris Twp. – USDA Soils Lab
  • Hodges – Hancock Community Center
  • Moore – Hancock Community Center
  • Hancock – Hancock Community Center
  • Morris 1A – Morris American Legion
  • Morris 1B – Morris Evangelical Free Church
  • Morris 2A – Morris Senior Center
  • Morris 2B – UMM - Oyate Hall
  • Morris 3A – Federated Church
  • Morris 3B – Zion Lutheran Church