West Fargo School Board race could see recount
WEST FARGO – There could be an automatic recount in the race for four School Board seats here after just nine votes separated three of the candidates Tuesday.
Six candidates were vying for four seats on the board.
In complete but unofficial results, Kara Stack and Jon Erickson received the most votes: Stack won 20 percent of the vote while Erickson garnered 18 percent.
Shauna Vistad received 15.84 percent of the vote, followed by Allan Skramstad – the only incumbent in the race – who received 15.81 percent. The two candidates are separated by only two votes. Vistad received 1,384 votes over Skramstad’s 1,382.
Dan Schaeffer received 15.73 percent and trailed Skramstad by seven votes, receiving 1,375.
Patricia Moulton rounded out the tight field with a little less than 15 percent, or 1,284 votes.
Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaiser said that if the percentage between Schaeffer and Skramstad remains less than a half percent when votes are canvassed Monday, a recount will be triggered.
If a recount occurs, votes for all six candidates will be counted, he said.
“If there is a recount, we’ll schedule it as quickly as possible,” he said.
If Schaeffer comes up short in the recount, he could still find a seat on the board after School Board President Kay Kiefer announced Monday that she is moving out of state.
She will vacate her seat June 30. The School Board will then appoint someone to fill the remaining two years of her term. Business Manager Mark Lemer said board members elected Tuesday will take office in July, and the new board can decide how to fill Kiefer’s term at that time.
Longtime board members Karen Nitzkorski, who has served since 2000, along with Dave Olson and Judy Kvaale, decided not to seek re-election this year.
Skramstad, 67, is a retired professor of aviation at the University of North Dakota. He has three adult children.
Schaeffer, 48, is an inventory purchasing specialist for the city of Fargo. He and his wife, Heidi, have two daughters attending school in the district.
Stack, 44, is a director of diversity initiatives at North Dakota State University. Stack is a Horace resident with three children in the district.
Vistad, a manager of the special investigations unit at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, has a stepdaughter who graduated from Fargo schools last year and a son who attends West Fargo schools.
Erickson, 45, is a development consultant at Wells Fargo, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Kathy, have two daughters who attend school in West Fargo.
School Board members serve a four-year, at-large term and are paid a salary of $4,730 per year.
Readers can reach Forum reporterWendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530