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Axness, Koppelman, Hanson claim seats in newly formed District 16; West Fargo 911 measure passes

Election Day results show Democrat Tyler Axness taking the Senate seat and Republican Ben Koppelman and Democrat Ben Hanson winners of the two House of Representative seats in the newly formed District 16, representing constituents in parts of West Fargo and Fargo.

In District 22, which takes in rural Cass County including Casselton, incumbent Gary Lee recaptured the Senate seat, while incumbent Wesley Belter and newcomer Pete Silbernagel won the two House seats.

The District 16 vote count was: 3,096 for Axness, 2,706 for Republican challenger David Duff; 2,910 for Koppelman, 2,672 for Hansen; challengers, 2,212 for Republican Harlan Goerger, and 2,354 for Democrat John Lund.

The vote count in District 22 was: 4,505 for Lee, 2,792 for Democrat Jessica Arneson; 3,742 for Belter, 4,044 for Silbernagel; and 3,110 for Democratic challenger Allan Peterson.

Winners in other local races were:

District 44 Senate: incumbent Rep. Tim Flakoll; District 44 House: Dem. Joshua A. Boschee and and incumbent Rep. Blair Thoreson; District 46 Senate: Dem George Sinner; and District 46 House: incumbents Rep. Kathy Hawken and Rep. Jim Kasper.

District 1 Cass County Commission seat: Chad Peterson; and District 5: Mary Scherling.

Voters also narrowly approved a measure specific to West Fargo asking for a 50 cent increase in county 911 emergency services through the Red River Dispatch Center in Fargo.

The final vote tally was 6,366 (50.81 percent) 'yes' and 6,162 (49.19 percent) 'no.'

Every citizen with a phone currently pays $1 a month for the 911 service fee which is charged through the phone service provider. That number will now go up to $1.50 effective Jan. 1, 2013.

West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen said passage is good news for the city. "It gives us more funding to use for these services."