Tumbling dice: Moe wins tiebreaker for Cook County Board

Former state legislator Frank Moe has won a seat on the Cook County Board in far northeastern Minnesota after the vote last week ended in a tie.

Frank Moe and Kristin Wharton each received 246 votes, so the winner was determined by chance. The initial plan to draw Scrabble tiles was scrapped out of fear the candidates might be able to trace the outline of the letters with their fingers.

So instead the county auditor placed two dice in a bag, one colored red, the other blue. Frank Moe chose the winning red cube, but afterwards struck a conciliatory tone.

"You get half the votes. That means half the votes voted for somebody else, half the voters did, so then my job is to talk to those people who didn't vote for me and see what their issues are too," he said.

Wharton asked for an official recount of the vote after a winner was certified. The recount conducted by the Cook County auditor validated the original tally of 246 votes for each candidate.

Moe will represent the far eastern tip of the Arrowhead, including Grand Portage. Most county dollars are currently spent in Grand Marais, Lutsen and Tofte, he added.

Wharton says she raised important issues during the election — "things like establishing a strong relationship with the Grand Portage community, listening to young people, and making sure that this is a place that people of all ages, including young families, are able to afford to live."

The 30-year-old nurse and mother of three was part of a wave of young candidates in Cook County. Grand Marais' new mayor and two new council members are all in their thirties.

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