Incumbent Mathiason defeats Gjersvik

Published 9:18 am Thursday, November 6, 2008

Glen Mathiason was re-elected as the Freeborn County District 1 commissioner Tuesday, defeating challenger Neal Gjersvik 2,152 to 1,393.

“I’m happy,” Mathiason said. “It’s kind of a relief.”

Mathiason, a farmer, has served two four-year terms on the board and is serving his second consecutive year as chairman.

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“I have to thank the people around home,” Mathiason said when he was declared the winner. “They’ve carried me through this each time.”

Gjersvik spent Tuesday working as an election judge.

He said on Wednesday that he plans to take his lessons from the election and learn from them. “I think it was a good indication that what I think should happen was not what the people wanted,” Gjersvik said. “I am glad there were some people who shared the same views as mine.”

But, he said, there isn’t anything he would have done differently.

What’s next for the sales representative?

He said he now hopes to get involved more with his political party.

“I never wanted to drag partisan politics into local elections. I feel a person should do one or the other,” Gjersvik said. “It’s been hard to see people I believe in running and feel I couldn’t be in a parade or do other things for them.”

Mathiason has lived in Freeborn County his entire life minus the two years he attended what is now Kaplan University. Mathiason completed an accounting program there, but was also No. 12 on the draft so he couldn’t get a job, he said. When he failed his draft physical, his father offered him a job on the farm. He has farmed almost all his life on the same family farm he grew up on. He currently has an operation with his brother.

Before he came to the county, Mathiason sat on the board of the Alden Co-op Elevator for 21 years and was an original member of the Exol board.

Mathiason and his wife, Jill, have been married for 37 years. The couple have a daughter, Shannan, who is married with twins Bryn and Noah.

Mathiason told the Tribune during his endorsement interview that he does not plan to seek another term after this one.