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Conrad, Newsome advance to general election

Underwood eliminated in Tuesday’s City Council primary

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Kent Eimers fills out his ballot Tuesday afternoon at the new Precinct 1 polling place inside First Congregational United Church of Christ on Williams Drive. This was the first time voting has taken place there.

An incumbent and a challenger who has tried many times to win a seat on the Fort Dodge City Council prevailed in Tuesday’s primary election and will advance to the Nov. 5 general election for an at-large seat.

Councilman Neven Conrad, who is seeking a second four-year term, received the most support in Tuesday’s balloting. He won 583 votes or 64.85 percent, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night by Webster County Auditor Doreen Pliner.

Eugene Newsome, who has run for council repeatedly over nearly two decades, won 160 votes or 17.8 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Political newcomer Jim Underwood won 154 votes or 17.13 percent. He will not advance to the general election.

”My response is to continue to thank the citizens of Fort Dodge for their continued support and the trust they’ve placed in me,” Conrad said Tuesday night. ”I’ve always approached it as an honor to serve the people as a member of the City Council.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Precinct worker Rita Craigmile hands Mary Ohrtman her ballot Tuesday afternoon at the new Precinct 1 polling place inside First Congregational United Church of Christ on Williams Drive. This was the first time voting has taken place there.

”The approach I bring to the City Council resonates with a good chunk of Fort Dodge,” he added.

Conrad said he knows that he will never agree with all the citizens on every issue. What’s important, he said, is to have a constructive conversation with citizens on issues and to have them feel that he’s listened to their point of view.

Conrad said he will not change his approach to things during the general election campaign.

Newsome, however, is vowing to ramp up his effort.

”I’m going to DefCon 1 now,” he said, using a Cold War-era term used to describe the highest state of American military readiness.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Precinct worker Mitch Craigmile watches as Kent Eimers puts his ballot into the counting box Tuesday afternoon at the new Precinct 1 polling place inside First Congregational United Church of Christ on Williams Drive. This was the first time voting has taken place there.

”Now the heavy lifting starts,” he added. ”I’m going to have to figure out a way to get out and meet more people. This is not going to be easy.”

”I’ve got to figure out a way to convince the people to give me one chance,” Newsome said.

Underwood said he ”really got out of my comfort zone” by running for City Council.

”At least I got 154 people to say yes,” he said. ”That’s OK.”

Underwood said he’s not sure if he will run for office again in the future.