Semmler defeats Wagner in Parkston mayoral race — and a look at other regional elections

Menno, Mount Vernon voters select school board members


PARKSTON, S.D. — Voters in a handful of regional communities headed to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for mayor and members of their local boards of education, including a close race for mayor in Parkston.

In the race for mayor in Parkston, Tim Semmler defeated Corrinna Wagner by a vote of 260 to 204, or 56% to 43%. Wagner had previously defeated Semmler in 2022 for her current position on the Parkston City Council by a handful of votes. Wagner is also a former chief of police for the community.

The position of mayor of Parkston is a two-year term.

Dave Hoffman, longtime mayor for the city, is to be hired as a city consultant after his current term as mayor expires and Semmler takes over the position.

There were also three seats opening on the Parkston City Council but the incumbent in all three seats were unopposed in their effort to return to their positions. Dale Hofer will return to his seat in Ward I, Jeff Murtha will retake his seat for Ward II and Scott Kniffen will again serve as alderman for Ward III.


All three alderman seats are for three-year terms.

Menno Board of Education

Voters in Menno returned one incumbent and elected a newcomer to the Menno Board of Education Tuesday.

Out of a four-candidate field, voters chose challenger Joel Rempfer and incumbent member Jon Schempp to serve. Rempfer was the top vote-getter with 108, followed by Schempp, who received 79, or 61% and 44% of the vote, respectively. Also on the ballot were Jackie Vaith with 77 votes, or 43%, and Molly Huber with 66 votes, or 37% of the vote.

Justin Plooster, an incumbent on the board, chose not to seek re-election, according to the Menno School District business office.

The terms for the seats won by Schempp and Rempfer were both three-year terms.

Mount Vernon Board of Education

One incumbent and one newcomer will take a seat on the Mount Vernon Board of Education following a public vote for the two seats Tuesday.

Voters in the district selected newcomer Karlee Tiesler and incumbent Jeff Miiler with 75 votes and 73 votes, respectively, representing 40% and 39% of the vote. Also receiving votes was Robert Mayer, who brought in 36 votes for 19% of the vote.

Incumbent Craig Pickart elected not to run for re-election to the board.


The two seats are both three-year terms.

Burke City Council

An incumbent will return to take his seat on the Burke City Council.

Todd Halsne, the incumbent for the seat in Ward I, received 28 votes to take the seat, which is a two-year term on the council. Challenger Bryson Vasquez brought in 18 votes. Halsne won the seat 60% to 39%.

Turnout for the vote was 30%, according to officials with the city of Burke.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
What To Read Next
Get Local