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District 45 recount scheduled Tuesday

A recount for the Fargo District 45 state House race is scheduled for 9 a.m.

Ed Gruchalla

A recount for the Fargo District 45 state House race is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Cass County Courthouse.

Incumbent Ed Gruchalla, a Democrat, leads Republican challenger Andrew Marschall by nine votes, a margin that qualifies for an automatic recount.

Gruchalla has 1,931 votes to Marschall's 1,922 votes in results that were confirmed this week by the state canvassing board.

Both Gruchalla and Marschall said they plan to have attorneys with them for the recount.

The county has hired four people to conduct the recount - Fargo City Auditor Steve Sprague, West Fargo Finance Director Sharon Schacher and two election inspectors.

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"It's going to be done professionally and without any political influence," said Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir.

District 45 includes portions of Fargo north of 12th Avenue North and communities to the north, such as Harwood, Reiles Acres and North River.

Gruchalla, retired from the North Dakota Highway Patrol, is seeking his second term in the Legislature. He will be represented by Moorhead attorney Bruce Schoenwald.

"I've been told that the machines are very accurate, so I'm feeling very good," Gruchalla said. "But it ain't over until it's over."

Marschall will be represented by Devils Lake, N.D., attorney Dan Traynor.

"You never know in recounts," said Marschall, who is the co-owner of Three Lyons Pub in West Fargo. "We'll see what happens."

Republican Joe Heilman won the other state House seat in District 45 with 2,362 votes.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

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Ed Gruchalla

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