Last night’s District 3 Republican primary was very close.
A 20 year incumbent didn’t have his party’s endorsement but chose to run anyway.
But he fell short and the two endorsed candidates move on in a bit of last-minute vote-counting drama.
It was all up to the voters on whether they wanted the experienced candidate or the new comers and their decision reflected that they are ready for a change.
“I was happy to see that some old timers that have been in position for you know years you know know to not get re-elected or make it onto the ballot,” said Twila Gantzer, Surrey Resident Voter.
“It was very nice to see that new, fresh opinions and faces are in,” said Dawn Whitcher, Minot Resident Voter.
As votes came in last night, it looked like the two endorsed candidates Jeff Hoverson and Bob Paulson were going to take the win. That was until the Minot precinct came in giving the 20 year incumbent Andrew Maragos the lead but it wouldn’t be enough once the last precinct was tallied.
“We’re surprised at how many voters here really agreed and wanted you know to move an incumbent – a 20 year guy with new comers,” said Jeff Hoverson, District 3 Republican Winner.
“Well it feels good. I mean it’s humbling,” said Bob Paulson, District 3 Republican Winner.
For Andrew Maragos it’s the end of his District 3 run but he says that it doesn’t necessarily mean his political career is over
“There are only 2 entities that can end my political career. That is my family, myself or the voters,” said Andrew Maragos, District 3 20-year Incumbent.
In Ward County there were just under 9,000 votes in the primary – more than double 4 years ago.
In District 3 there were about twenty-six hundred votes this year – nearly 3 times more than 2014.
“I think people are just more aware of issues,” said Gantzer.
Come November voters will have to make another decision, this time between Republicans and Democrats.
Democrats Shannon Krueger and Bob Schwartz will be on the November ballot against Hoverson and Paulson for the two seats in the state House of Representatives.