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UPDATE: Nieskes wins Republican primary in St. Croix County DA race

Michael Nieskes will be the Republican candidate for St. Croix County district attorney in November.

According to unofficial St. Croix County data, Nieskes won the three-way race with 1,370 votes, or 35.75 percent of the vote. He topped challengers Donna Burger (1,251) and Rory O’Sullivan (1,209) with all precincts reporting.

Nieskes, reached by phone Tuesday night after the results were in, congratulated his competitors in the race and said he hopes they’ll support him as he gears up for the general election.

“I will continue going out and making my case to the people of the county and to continue doing the day-to-day work in the office that I’ve been doing -- and that the people of the county deserve,” he said. “Hopefully the voters of the county will reward me by electing me in November.”

The race became a competitive contest for Republicans for the first time in a generation after longtime St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson announced he won’t seek re-election this fall.

Hudson resident Nieskes serves as St. Croix County’s deputy DA. If elected, the 61-year-old said his lengthy experience as a prosecutor would allow him to tackle his top priorities, which he said includes drug crimes.

O’Sullivan, a Hudson resident, is an assistant DA in Pierce County. He presented himself as possessing a long-term vision for St. Croix County in a questionnaire to RiverTown Multimedia and said he would concentrate his efforts on prosecuting “victim”-based crimes.

Burger, also of Hudson, is an assistant state public defender. The 42-year-old told RiverTown that delivering “fiscally responsible” justice is a priority, as is prosecuting drug-related crimes.

The Republican winner faces Democrat Sarah Yacoub in the general election.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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