Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney wins a final term: 'They like what I'm doing'
A record seven candidates were vying for the job of Fargo mayor in the June primary election.
FARGO — Tim Mahoney fended off challenges from six other candidates Tuesday to retain his position as Fargo mayor, but a measure of patience was required to learn the results.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14, and vote totals began trickling in statewide about an hour later. But no numbers were available in Fargo or Cass County until 10:30 p.m., as election officials reportedly waited on ballots from one location.
When all precincts finally reported unofficial results, Mahoney claimed 41% of the vote, winning reelection to a third successive four-year term.
"Very pleased," said Mahoney when reached shortly before midnight. He said sometimes he wonders what people think of him as mayor. "They like what I'm doing," he said of the results.
Mahoney was followed by Arlette Preston with 20%, Shannon Roers Jones with 16% and Hukun Dabar with 11%.
Roers Jones said the result was not what she'd hoped, but she knew it would be an uphill battle with an incumbent mayor.
"Still, I'm happy to have the support we did," Roers Jones said.
Michael Borgie, Sheri Fercho and Dustin Elliott were all in single-digit percentages.
Previously, the highest number of Fargo mayoral candidates was six in the June 2006 election, according to data kept by the auditor’s office dating back to 1950.
This was Fargo's second election using the approval voting system, which passed in 2018. Under it, residents can vote for as many candidates as they see fit and the one with the most votes wins.
Leading up to this election day, Roers Jones dwarfed the other mayoral candidates in fundraising.
Roers Jones raised almost $121,000 according to a campaign finance disclosure statement that was due from all candidates by May 13 at the City Auditor's Office.
The next two closest fundraisers in the mayoral race were Dabar with about $32,000 and Mahoney, who raised about $29,500.
The position of Fargo mayor is technically part time.
When announcing in February his intention to run again , incumbent Mahoney pledged he would be a “full-time” mayor if reelected.
Mahoney said he'll wrap up his longtime surgical practice at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in December, about six months later than originally planned.
The last time Mahoney ran for mayor, he was unopposed.
He gained the right to be on the June ballot following a Cass County District Court judge’s ruling on a term-limit dispute in November 2021.
Judge Stephannie Stiel ruled that two partial terms Mahoney served, including a stretch after the death of former Mayor Dennis Walaker, could not be considered when determining his eligibility to run.
The Fargo mayor and city commissioners are limited to three successive four-year terms, or 12 years, while a mayor may get another term of four years if they served as a city commissioner for three consecutive terms.