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Challenger beats incumbent in GOP council primary; Redweik defeats Rains by 372 votes

In a race whose candidates were divided over a proposed wind turbine project, the challenger for a Cass County Council seat defeated the incumbent in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

David Redweik’s 1,142 votes topped Phil Rains’ 770 in the GOP contest for Cass County Council District 1.

Redweik said he was a little apprehensive throughout the evening but excited after the final tally came in.

“I think my wife was a little more excited than I was,” he said with a laugh.

Redweik opposes Cass County’s setback rules for commercial wind turbines. A company is currently pursuing a commercial wind turbine project for the northern part of the county, which includes the council’s District 1. The proposed project has been a divisive issue locally. Redweik said he believes the project drove a lot of its opponents to the polls and contributed to his victory.

Ryan Browning, who has also spoken out against the proposed wind project, won his Republican primary race against incumbent Jeff LeDonne, who supports the project.

“It got a lot of people out to vote,” Redweik said. “…I’m pretty sure that’s how I won. It motivates people and the people wanted to have their voice heard. Both with me and Ryan winning, I think they’ve spoken a little bit.”

Redweik thanked all of his supporters and said Rains ran a good campaign.

“I have respect for Phil,” Redweik said. “I always liked him.”

Rains has served on the council since 2013.

“I feel like I got beat over something I had no control over,” Rains said, referring to the turbine project.

He said while he supports the project, the council is not involved in the plans for it.

“There’s a lot of angry people out there that don’t understand everything,” he said. “They wanted to take it out on Jeff and I, which is fine.”