On Tuesday night, the Bon Homme County sheriff’s office received a dramatic shake-up before a single vote was counted in the primary election.
In the Republican primary, Sheriff Lenny Gramkow was challenged by Deputy Sheriff Mark Maggs, who had worked for the department since 2013. Following this spring’s candidate filings, Gramkow and Maggs continued working together in the Bon Homme County sheriff’s department.
The polls for the primary election closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with vote tabulating to begin.
At 7:01 p.m., Gramkow sent a letter of termination to Maggs, who in turn posted it on his Facebook page.
The situation took another turn later in the evening, as Maggs defeated Gramkow 878-331.
The termination letter reads as follows:
"This letter is to inform you that effective immediately you are terminated from the position as deputy sheriff for Bon Homme County. As of this moment, you are no longer an employee of Bon Homme County.
"Please turn in all equipment belonging to Bon Homme County by 5 p.m. June 6, 2018.
"Bon Homme County Sheriff
Gramkow could not be reached for comment prior to Tuesday’s deadline. The Press & Dakotan sought comment on the letter itself and the reason for termination, including whether it was because of Maggs’ candidacy in the sheriff’s race.
The following is a look at other area primary and city/school races.
SOUTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE
• In District 21 (Tripp, Gregory, Charles Mix counties and a portion of Bon Homme County): In the House Democratic primary, Anna Kerner Andersson of Burke and Brian Jorgensen of Colome finished as the top two vote getters with 279 and 268 votes, respectively. The third candidate, Faith Spotted Eagle of Lake Andes, received 119 votes.
Kerner Andersson and Jorgensen advance to the November general election, where they face Republicans Lee Qualm of Platte and Caleb Finck of rural Tripp for a pair of two-year terms.
In the Senate race, Democrat Julie Bartling faces Republican Rocky Dal Blare of Ideal for the two-year term for what has become an open seat.
Changes are guaranteed in what has become a shuffling of candidates.
In the Senate race, Democrat Billie Sutton of Burke is seeking his party’s nomination for governor rather than another term in the Legislature. In turn, Bartling is seeking a Senate seat rather than another House term.
Qualm is the other District 21 incumbent and is seeking another House term.
• DISTRICT 19 (Douglas, Hutchinson, Hanson and McCook counties and part of Bon Homme County): In the Republican primary for the House, incumbents Kyle Schoenfish of Scotland and Kent Peterson of Salem won the top two spots with 2,393 and 1,757 votes, respectively. Challenger Michael Boyle of Parkston collected 1,630 votes.
Schoenfish and Peterson will now advance to the November general election, where they face Democrat John C. Koch of Freeman and independent candidates Roger Hofer of Bridgewater and Alison Bowers of Alexandria for the two, two-year terms.
In the Senate race, Republican incumbent Stace Nelson of Fulton and Democratic challenger Ardon Wek of Freeman were unopposed and will advance to the general election.
AREA SOUTH DAKOTA COUNTIES
• BON HOMME: In the Republican primary for District 5 county commissioner, incumbent Russell Jelsma defeated challenger Dustin Wayne Tjeerdsma 166-162. Both men are from Springfield. The race could be subject to a recount.
• CLAY: In the Democratic primary for register of deeds, challenger Lisa Terwilliger advances with 558 votes. She was followed by incumbent Jane Olson with 360 votes and challenger Tracy Chamberlain with 173 votes. All three candidates are from Vermillion.
In the Democratic primary for at-large county commission seats, incumbents Micheal Manning and Phyllis Packard, both of Vermillion, advance with 814 and 661 votes, respectively. The third candidate, newcomer Jason A. Miller of Gayville, finished with 288 votes.
DOUGLAS: Two Republican primary elections will be held for county offices.
The GOP primary for District 5 county commissioner saw Tim Goldammer of Corsica win with 119, followed by DelRay Geidel of Dimock and Jeff Grosz of Armour with 31 and 16, respectively.
The GOP primary for register of deeds saw Kim Huebner of Armour defeat Kaylene Goehring of Delmont 425-320.
• HUTCHINSON: In the Republican primary for District 1 county commissioner, challenger Curtis Ulmer won the top spot with 228 votes, followed by incumbent Jerome Hoff with 118 and challenger Roger Simonsen with 66. All three men are from Menno.
• TURNER: Two Republican races were decided in the primary.
The GOP race for District 1 county commissioner found Jared Hybertson of Centerville winning with 135 votes followed by Richard Lounsbery of Davis and Eldon Nygaard of Viborg with 45 and 44 votes, respectively.
For sheriff, Steven Luke of Marion defeated Chad Papke of Humboldt 906-328. The seat is open as incumbent Byron Nogelmeier left over to take over as statewide 24/7 coordinator. Luke and Marion were both deputy sheriffs, with the county commissioners appointing Luke as the interim sheriff.
• UNION: The Republican primary will feature a race for District 3 county commissioner saw incumbent Richard Roy William Headid of McCook Lake defeat challenger Aaron Matthew Tyler, also of McCook Lake, 146-40.
In addition, the GOP primary for register of deeds saw Katie Marie Buum of Alcester defeat Jennifer Regina Clarey, whose address is rural Akron, Iowa, 669-473.
• ANDES CENTRAL: In the school board race, voters re-elected incumbents Terry Svatos with 95 votes, Debbra J. Houseman with 95 and Nicole Gray with 83. The challenger, Janell Garcia, finished with 36.
The election drew 120 of 1,375 registered voters for 8.7 percent turnout.
• VERMILLION: In the mayor’s race, incumbent Jack Powell won re-election with 818 votes, followed by challengers Tom Sorensen with Aaron Kerkhove with 630 and 61 votes, respectively.
• In the Northwest Ward alderman race, the unofficial results show a tie between Howard Willson and Jeff Kleeman, both with 188 votes.
• In the school board race, incumbents Rachel Olson and Tim Schwasinger were re-elected with 1,099 and 1,012 votes, respectively. Challenger Kerri Mohnsen received 482 votes.
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