Baltich advances after recount
by Tom Coombe
Ely’s Joe Baltich will move on to face Jack Nelson in an election for a vacant seat on the Lake County Board. He had initially finished in a tie with Colby Abazs.
The two candidates were tied for second place - with 99 votes each - in an Aug. 8 primary election. A recount held Friday morning determined Baltich finished with a one vote margin over Abazs.
Every vote clearly mattered in the primary, in a district that includes Fall Lake Township and spreads to Crystal Bay, Beaver Bay, part of Silver Bay and an unorganized township.
Nelson collected the most votes with 124, while Baltich,Abazs and Paul Hartshorn were in a nail-biter for second.
The county showed both Baltich and Abazs with 99 votes and Hartshorn next with 97.
Two other candidates - Steven Marolt and Mark Haarman - lagged far behind.
The special election was held because the District 1 seat was vacated by the death of longtime Commissioner Pete Walsh, 68, of Finland, on Jan. 19.
Baltich, a former Ely mayor and city council member, racked up the bulk of his vote total in Fall Lake, where he easily finished first with 81 votes.
Abazs was second there with 34, followed by Marolt with eight votes, Haarman and Nelson with seven each and Hartshorn with six.