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Sabers wins three-way Ward 1 Council race

Dan Sabers won Tuesday's three-way race for Mitchell City Council Ward 1 to represent the city's southwest quadrant. He will replace Mel Olson, who held the seat since 2009. Olson was defeated in his bid for mayor Tuesday. Sabers won with 320 vot...

Ward 1 candidate Dan Sabers speaks during a city election candidate forum hosted by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Ward 1 candidate Dan Sabers speaks during a city election candidate forum hosted by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Dan Sabers won Tuesday’s three-way race for Mitchell City Council Ward 1 to represent the city’s southwest quadrant.

He will replace Mel Olson, who held the seat since 2009. Olson was defeated in his bid for mayor Tuesday.

Sabers won with 320 votes or 45 percent, defeating opponents Tim Goldammer and Clay Loneman. Goldhammer received 268 votes or 38 percent and Loneman took 119 votes or 17 percent. A total of 707 votes were cast.

Sabers will serve a three-year term that expires in 2021.

It’s nice to win, said Sabers Tuesday night, adding he was looking forward to serving the city.

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“We’ve got a good council,” he said. “That’s one of the main reasons I ran,” he said.

The race featured a cross-generational choice. Loneman is 23, Goldammer is 30 and Sabers is 60. Only Loneman is a Mitchell native. Goldammer moved to Mitchell five years ago and Sabers 10 years ago.

None had previously held public office, although Sabers had worked briefly as the Corn Palace director and Loneman unsuccessfully made a first attempt for City Council last year.

Sabers, 60, grew up in Salem and moved to Mitchell in 2008.

Sabers was the clubhouse manager at Lakeview Golf Course and spent eight months as the Corn Palace director until September 2015, when he resigned under pressure from Mayor Jerry Toomey.

Sabers told the Daily Republic during the campaign that his tenure running the Corn Palace gave him insight into how the city works. Currently, Sabers works in sales and marketing for the Ramada Inn and Suites Conference Center in Mitchell. He also owns the Midtown Plaza Mall at 400 N. Main St.

Sabers pointed to his involvement in a number of area organizations as being key to his leadership. He’s been one of the leaders of the Dakota Wesleyan University Teammakers Club, which is a booster program for the Tigers’ athletic teams, and he has also been involved in the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame and the Mitchell Sports and Events Authority. He also coached high school basketball for more than 20 years.

Sabers said earlier he saw infrastructure and Lake Mitchell as the city’s most pressing issues, but he added he is not afraid to admit what he doesn’t know. He said he hasn’t extensively researched what solutions are possible for Lake Mitchell, workforce and public safety issues.

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“I’m open to any good remedies, but it comes down to what we can afford,” he said then regarding the lake.

 

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