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Willmar Council canvasses ballots; totals unchanged

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council met in special session Thursday afternoon to canvass ballots cast by voters for council candidates in Tuesday's general election. The official vote totals were unchanged from the previously reported unofficial results.

Denis Anderson, 62, was re-elected without opposition to another four-year term from Ward 1 with 1,517 votes. He has served since 1998.

In Ward 2, Tim Johnson, 61, defeated incumbent Steve Gardner, 49, for the four-year term. The results were 1,951 for Johnson and 634 for Gardner. Gardner was seeking a second term.

In Ward 3, former council member Steve Ahmann, 56, was elected without opposition and received 1,517 votes. He replaces Cindy Swenson who did not file for re-election to a second term.

Ward 4 voters returned incumbent Jim Dokken, 73, for a third four-year term. Dokken has served since 1998. He defeated challenger Susana Hunnicutt, 60, by a tally of 1,345 to 549.

City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday described Tuesday's voter turnout as average at 74.42 percent, which is below the 76.82 percent turnout in 2004, but higher than 73.30 percent in 2000.

The number of voters registered by the end of Election Day totaled 11,597 (9,826 registrants at 7 a.m., plus 1,771 new registrants).

The number of total voters was 8,630 (7,712 signed voters, plus 918 absentee voters), according to registration information provided by Halliday.

No one could say why the vote totals for Anderson and Ahmann were the same at 1,517.

-- David Little