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Gazelka takes slight lead at midnight in Senate District 9

■ Gazelka takes slight lead

Rep. Paul Gazelka, R-Baxter, held a slight lead around midnight Tuesday for the newly formed Senate District 9 race. With 53 of 126 precincts in, Gazelka had 10,708 votes or 51.33 percent. His opponent Al Doty had 10,132 votes or 48.56 percent. There were 23 write-in votes. The four counties involved in the new district are Cass, Wadena, Todd and Morrison. Gazelka, who served one term in the state House and is serving his first term in the Senate, moved a few miles across the border to establish residency in the new district. Gazelka is a former state representative and presently serves as an assistant majority leader and vice chair of the Commerce Committee, on the Veterans and State Government Committee and Transportation and Environment. Doty of Royalton was elected to the Legislature in 2006 and served two terms, representing House District 12B. He was defeated in 2010 by Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls. Doty, 66, currently serves on the Royalton City Council.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at