Challengers shake up Jackson County Fire District No. 5

Two new members appeared to be headed to seats on the Jackson County Fire District No. 5 board of directors, beating out incumbents, but the third race remains too close to call.

Incumbent Sean Curry had a 21-vote lead over Bob Miller as of 9:30 p.m., reversing Miller's edge in the 8 p.m. returns. Judy Baalman was ahead of Evan Petersen by 123 votes. Bill Robertson had a lead of 224 votes over Fred Baumgartner.

Robertson and Miller have both served on the board before and had campaigned against a $1.8 million district equipment bond levy that was defeated in November. The two have been critical of district spending policy.

In the battle for Position 3, Robertson, who previously served for 17 years, received 863 votes, 57 percent of the total. Baumgartner, a 17-year board member, gathered 639 votes for 42 percent of the total.

"I think it's a big voice toward more government and fiscal restraints," said Robertson.

In a three-way race for Position 5 Baalman appeared victorious. Baalman gained 682 votes for 43 percent of the total.

"I'm elated if that hold out," said Baalman. "It's a little close".

Position 5 incumbent Evan Peterson, who was appointed to the board in January, received 559 votes, for 35 percent, and Steve Schulman had 324 votes for 21 percent.

Curry surged to 745 votes, or 50 percent, slightly ahead of Miller with 724 votes, or 49 percent, in the Position 4 race. Curry had been elected to the board in 2009 following appointment to the body.

Across the county in Jackson County Fire District No. 3, incumbent Colin Fagan was well ahead of challenger Ralph Browning.

The Jackson County Clerk's Office reported Fagan had 2,417 votes, or 63 percent of the vote, while Browning had 1,398, or 37 percent.

Fagan is a detective sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

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