MOORHEAD – City Council member Brenda Elmer made it official on Tuesday, Feb. 13, when she announced she’ll run for mayor here.
During a special morning event featuring rolls and coffee at Fryn’ Pan, 2920 U.S. Highway 10, Elmer made her announcement, becoming the second declared mayoral candidate so far.
Newzad Brifki, founder of the Kurdish Community of America based here, previously said he’ll run for mayor to succeed Del Rae Williams, who isn’t running for a second term.
Williams was the first female mayor of Moorhead and the first to not have previously served on City Council.
Elmer, who owns a property management and investment business, said at the event that she can bring experience, knowledge and connections to the table.
“I really see unlimited possibilities for Moorhead and making it a vibrant place to live and work,” she said.
Elmer said flood protection for Moorhead is at the top of her priorities, adding she hopes to achieve at least 100 years of protection and remove neighborhoods from the flood plain.
Other issues include downtown development, addressing aging infrastructure and public safety needs and navigating a different tax and regulatory environment as a border community.
She received bachelor’s degrees in political science and mass communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University in St. Paul.
Elmer is involved in Moorhead Public Schools, the Boy Scouts and Moorhead Kiwanis Club.
She’s lived in Moorhead for 15 years and been on the Moorhead City Council representing the 3rd Ward, which includes parts of south Moorhead, since 2009. She also serves as the mayor pro tem, which means she’s the mayor’s substitute.
In 2017, Elmer reported nearly $14,000 in campaign donations, according to the city's campaign finance reports as of Dec. 31. Among a list of 34 donors contributing between $100 and $250, City Council Member Steve Gehrtz and his wife, Elaine, donated $500 to the Elect Brenda Elmer Committee.
The city's website doesn't list any other campaign finance reports for individuals vying for the mayor's office.