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Chelsie Sparks

Chelsie Sparks

Record file photo

Dawes County will have a new treasurer next year after the 2018 elections.

Chelsie Sparks turned her resignation in to the Dawes County Commissioners last week. Her final day will be March 12. She told the commissioners she was stepping down to return to Sidney last week.

Sparks was appointed to fill the position last fall after former treasurer Barb Sebesta resigned after being convicted of official misconduct. Sparks was among three finalists interviewed.

Until Sparks announced her resignation, no one had filed to run for the position. By the time the March 1 deadline passed, it became a contested race that will appear on the May 15 primary ballot. Rhonda Schleuning, Jennifer Dean and Sam Wellnitz have all filed for the seat. Only one will advance to the general election in November.

Two other local races will also appear on the May primary ballot. The District 2 seat on the board of county commissioners is being contested, with Stacy Swinney and Kevin Lotton challenging incumbent Vic Rivera.

Residents of the South Ward in the City of Crawford will also have a contested race, as Roy Norgard, Susan Leeling and Ronnie Thompson all seek the vacant seat.

The Chadron Record and KCSR/KBPY will host an election forum with candidates in those three races April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chadron State College Student Center Scottsbluff Room.

In Dawes County, voters in the Crawford and Whitney precincts, as well as voters in the Chadron #7 precinct (those who used to vote at the Victory Heights Bible Camp) will receive ballots in the mail and will no longer report to a physical polling location. All other voters will report to Assumption Arena May 15 to cast their ballots. 

At this point, two other local races will be contested in November’s general election. Five candidates are vying for three seats on the Chadron City Council. Incumbents Miles Bannan and Mark Werner are seeking another term, and are being challenged by A.J. Bassett, Cheryl Welch and Jennifer Fintel-Jensen.

Three spots on the Chadron School Board are also open. Incumbents Tom Menke and Sandy Roes have filed for another term, and will face newcomers Joseph Johndreau, Tye Pourier and Andy Gooder. Incumbent Jim O’Rourke had previously filed for re-election, but withdrew his candidacy last week.

Other filings in Dawes County are as follows:

City of Crawford Mayor – David Nixon

City of Crawford North Ward – Edwin Kuhnel

Crawford School Board – Marie Wohlers

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County Surveyor – Philip Curd

Commissioner District 1 – Jake Stewart

County Clerk – Cheryl Feist

County Assessor – Roberta “Lindy” Coleman

County Sheriff – Karl Dailey

County Attorney – Vance Haug

Clerk of District Court – Celeste Cattin

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