Incumbents voted off Clear Lake Council One newcomer in Ventura

Both incumbents seeking re-election to the Clear Lake City Council were ousted in the Tuesday, Nov. 7, Regular Election.

Newcomer Bennett Smith topped two-term Councilman Tony Nelson, as well as challenger Ben Smith to win the Second Ward Council seat.  The winner captured 48 percent of the votes, finishing with 184, compared to 147 votes for Nelson and 51 for Ben Smith.  Nelson was running for a third term on the Council.

In the At-Large race, Dana Brant beat incumbent Gary Hugi 568 to 343.  Brant received 62 percent of votes cast, while Hugi had 37.4.  There were five write-ins.

Brant served as the city’s First Ward Council representative from 2012 to 2016, however, due to redistricting he was forced to seek re-election in 2015 in the Third Ward.  He was narrowly defeated by the Third Ward incumbent Jim Boehnke.

Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb was unopposed in his bid for re-election to a third term.  He received 810 (95.7 percent) of votes cast.  There were 36 write-ins.

Sixteen percent of the 5,846 registered voters in Clear Lake cast ballots in the Tuesday election.

Cerro Gordo County Commissioner of Elections Ken Kline said the votes were scheduled to be canvassed Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Ventura

In Ventura, one of two incumbents running for re-election was defeated.

In his first run for public office, Pete Cash finished ahead of incumbents Brian Vaage and Crystal (Kristie) Meints.

Two Council seats were decided in the election at Ventura.  Cash received 86 votes (39.4 percent); Vaage, who will be starting his fourth term, finished second with 66 votes (30.3 percent).  Meints was a close third with 59 votes (27.1 percent).  There were seven write-ins.

Ventura Mayor Lynn Benson was unopposed in the election.  He received 114 votes (97.4 percent).  There were three write-ins. Benson was appointed to the Ventura Council on March 23, 2015 to replace Art Tesar, who moved out of Ventura city limits. He was officially elected later that same year to finish out the remaining term.

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