Weems unofficial winner in District 2 Commissioner Race

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- UPDATE:
The race for Lincoln County District 2 Commissioner is not quite settled.
With only ten votes separating the two candidates, Lincoln County Clerk Becky Rossell says provisional ballots will be counted on Thursday.

Rossell says a recount threshold is a complicated calculation of one percent, and currently, the race is not reaching that automatic recount threshold. Provisional ballots could change that, according to Rossell.

The race will not be officially over until the Lincoln County Canvassing Board meets and certifies the election later this week.

Until then, unofficial results indicate that Kent Weems will move to the general election as the republican candidate for the district two seat on the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Weems received 543 votes (or 50.18 percent of the votes). Brent Roggow trailed Weems with 533 votes (or 49.26 percent of the votes).
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ORIGINAL STORY:

Two republicans are facing off in the primary elections, wanting a chance at the district two seat on the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Kent Weems and Brent Roggow are the names voters will see at the polls on May 15.

News 2 spoke to those candidates to get their take on courthouse security measures and county infrastructure.

The current board of commissioners approved spending well over $100,000 to add body scanners, x-ray machines, and a security system with guard to courthouse.

Roggow says that he approves the commissioners' move, adding that it is necessary in this day and age and in the best interest of Lincoln County. Roggow believes that the county's hiring an outside firm to handle security was the better option over county deputies supplying security. Roggow says that the numbers behind the commissioners' decision are what make him side with the board's choice.

Roggow cites a recent incident at the courthouse as one reason why the county needs a bump in security.

"We just never know anymore what's going to happen," Roggow stated. "A lot of things are changing in this world and, unfortunately, society has pushed us to this level. I think we're going to see more [places] that are going to have to have [higher] security."

On the other hand, Weems says that he is not excited about the inconvenience of security changes; but, that there is depth to the concerns of county leaders that the public might not know to the full extent. Weems says that courthouse security is not a discussion that local leaders would have had ten years ago, but that it is now a now a topic of concern for public schools and buildings alike.

Weems does add, though, that he would have liked to see our county deputies work on courthouse security over an outside security firm.

"I would have to admit that I have some reservations about an outside party serving in that capacity," Weems reflected. "I would much rather like to see our very capable sheriff's office run that."

As for county infrastructure, many projects are included on the One- and Six-Year Road Plan. Some residents in the past have expressed concern for improvements on South River Road and the Sutherland Bridge.

Roggow supports how the commissioners are working with federal agencies to get South River Road up and running once again. To get federal money for the project, Roggow says that he understands that the process takes time. Roggow is also concerned about the Sutherland Bridge.

"That's a huge issue," Roggow said. "I've talked to numerous people [with] high-school kids [who drive on the Sutherland Bridge] everyday to school and they're like, 'Brent, it's just not safe anymore. If you saw underneath it, it's just not safe at all.'"

Weems agrees that South River Road and the Sutherland Bridge should be "on the front burner" for Lincoln County. Weems says that roads like South River Road are a big headache for the people who live around them.

"I know there are a lot of challenges involved in dealing with that river channel, but [the board] really [does] need to see that [project] through and get that reinstalled." Weems noted.

Whoever wins the primary election will face Randy Stubbs, the democratic candidate, on the ballot later this fall.