Freeborn County District 1 Commissioner Glen Mathiason chats with grandson Noah Nelson, 13, Tuesday at the Freeborn County Courthouse. They awaited election results. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

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Incumbents keep commissioner seats

Published 12:47am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The incumbents on the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners handily kept their seats Tuesday.

Commissioner District 1 incumbent Glen Mathiason and Commissioner District 3 incumbent Jim Nelson both garnered just about twice as many votes as their respective opponents, Neal Gjersvik and Ron Steckman.

Commissioner District 5 incumbent Mike Lee ran unopposed and won.

Jim Nelson

Mathiason, of rural Alden, begins his fourth term.

“Every time I ran it was always a big relief to have the campaign done,” he said.

He is eager to tackle the challenge of taking care of Freeborn County roads and looking into technology that can extent the life of the roads, he said.

Gjersvik, of rural Manchester, said with no burning issue it is difficult to defeat an incumbent commissioner.

“I think I could do a good job,” he said.

Gjersvik said it is hard to say whether he will run again. He ran for the seat in two previous elections.

Nelson thanked voters and looks forward to a third term to address issues such as what to do about Bridge Avenue.

“It looks like I got a job for another four years,” he said.

Saying he believes in the will of the majority, Steckman also thanked his voters and congratulated Nelson.

He had hopes, Steckman said, to empower taxpayers with more involvement in Board of Commissioners decisions. He said he must not have gotten his message out well enough.

He said he won’t run again for elective office and will go back to his retirement.

Lee won a special election for his seat in March 2011, held because of Linda Tuttle’s resignation in disgrace that came as a result of her criminal actions embezzling from her abstract and title business. Tuttle now is in a federal prison.

Lee enters his first full four-year term. The new terms begin Jan. 1.