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Harris wins re-election to county board seat

There are challenges facing the Dakota County Board of Commissioners in the next four years. Dakota County Commissioner Joseph (Joe) Harris said he is looking forward to working with the other commissioners and staff to address them.

On Tuesday, Harris, a county commissioner for 28 years, defeated challenger Doug Riles for another four-year term.

When the last Dakota County precinct was counted shortly after midnight, Harris had defeated Riles 20,193 to 7,166.

"I feel very good," he said. "It is a pretty good victory.

"I've always said it is very humbling to earn the respect of your constituents," he added.

Dakota County is facing some tough times and issues as the impact of the national and state economies impact the county and its residents.

"I'm looking forward to working on them as the first district commissioner," he said. "These issues are tough ones, some we haven't had to face here, but we have to take care of them."

The first district includes Farmington.

He pointed to the increasing demand for services as the county continues to grow. At the same time, finding the resources to fund the services will be a challenge.

Counties across the state continue to receive new legislative mandates to provide programs without adequate funding. This is becoming more of an issue for taxpayers.

"The decisions we will have to make will not be easy," Harris said. "But the message I carried in this campaign of experience and knowledge will help continue to provide great quality representation."

Other county races

District 2 Commissioner Thomas Egan defeated challenger Scott Holm, 18,553 to 4,769.

In District 5, where incumbent Michael Turner is retiring after 20 years, Liz Workman defeated Vicky Turner, 10,460 to 9,393.

In District 7, incumbent Willis Branning defeated Paul DesLauriers, 17,584 to 9,152.

In the Soil and Water Conservation District, Scott Norstad, Chris Nielsen and Joe Meyers were elected.