Crow Wing County Board primary race: Barrows, Erickson advance to general election

Barrows was the top vote-getter Tuesday, Aug. 9, among the field of five, earning 644 votes, or 45.71% between eight voting precincts.

Tad Erickson and Steve Barrows speak during interviews in this photo illustration
Tad Erickson, left, and Crow Wing County Commissioner Steve Barrows move on to the Nov. 8 general election as the top two vote-getters in a field of five candidates on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.
Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch

Incumbent Commissioner Steve Barrows and primary challenger Tad A. Erickson will advance to the Nov. 8 general election to represent District 3 on the Crow Wing County Board.

Barrows was the top vote-getter Tuesday, Aug. 9, among the field of five, earning 644 votes, or 45.71% between eight voting precincts.

“I feel real good. The results are very favorable,” Barrows said during a phone interview Tuesday night after it became clear he would advance. “I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people that supported me. I want to thank the election judges, the staff and Ms. Erickson for how this election was performed. I think it was outstanding.”

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Tad Erickson, who currently serves on the Brainerd City Council, earned 358 votes, defeating the next closest challenger Keith M. Johnson by 95 votes. Candidate Jazz Ness earned 91 votes and Jacob White received 53 votes.

“I’m excited. It was a really encouraging night,” Erickson said by phone Tuesday night. “Tomorrow, a new race begins and a lot of hard work is ahead.”


Erickson said he intends to focus on getting out the message more to voters on his policy priorities and knock on a lot of doors.

“Door-knocking all over the place — I think I have a lot of opportunity,” Erickson said.

Barrows congratulated Tad Erickson on his efforts in the primary and encouraged the other candidates to continue making an impact.

“They have an opportunity to be community activists, so they shouldn’t stop working in the community for whatever issue they feel is important. So I would just encourage them to do that,” Barrows said.

Johnson called in to offer his congratulations to all the other candidates.

“Cheers to the victors, it was a hell of a race,” Johnson said. “And a very, very heartfelt thank you to my voters.”

District 3 includes the two southern voting precincts in the city of Baxter and most of the city of Brainerd, including Ward 1, precincts 1 and 2; Ward 2, Precinct 2; Ward 3, Precinct 1; and Ward 4, precincts 1 and 2.

Candidates were Barrows of Baxter, the incumbent commissioner and retired Minnesota Department of Human Services worker; Tad Erickson of Brainerd, a transportation planner at Region Five Development Commission and Brainerd City Council member; Johnson of Brainerd, a returning candidate and self-employed truck driver; Ness of Brainerd, a community volunteer and homemaker; and White of Brainerd, a house painter and Central Lakes College student.


CHELSEY PERKINS, community editor, may be reached at 218-855-5874 or . Follow on Twitter at .

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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