Five grab seats in packed race for Fargo School Board

FARGO - Former school board president Robin Nelson led a field of five candidates who won seats on the Fargo School Board on Tuesday, June 12. Nelson and current board President Rebecca Knutson led the crowded field of 10 candidates with 16 perce...

FARGO – Former school board president Robin Nelson led a field of five candidates who won seats on the Fargo School Board on Tuesday, June 12.

Nelson and current board President Rebecca Knutson led the crowded field of 10 candidates with 16 percent of the vote apiece, followed by incumbent Jennifer Benson with 13 percent, incumbent David Paulson with 11 percent, and Brian Nelson with 10 percent, according to complete but unofficial results from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office.

Sandra Calhoun and Stacey Piechowski each had 9 percent of the vote, and Nyamal Dei picked up 8 percent. Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir received 6 percent of the vote, and Rado Twardowski had 2 percent.

Robin Nelson was happy to have won election after a two-year absence from the board.

“Nothing is more important to me than kids,” she said. “This is my way to get back into the community to help students even more. Everything I do is for the kids. I thank the voters for giving me the opportunity to do that.”

“We’ve got a good school board,” Paulson said. “I think we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m very pleased to be able to do it for the next four years.”

Paulson said he’s concerned about what the Legislature will do with funding for K-12 education in the next biennium.

Brian Nelson, a part-time superintendent for Fairmount (N.D.) Public Schools who also works at a local Walmart store, was excited to win a seat on the board.

“I just want to add to the wonderful education that the kids are already getting. I have just been so impressed with everything” in the Fargo school system, he said.

Incumbents Linda Boyd and Dinah Goldenberg opted not to seek re-election.

Tuesday’s winners will be seated at the July 10 board meeting. Board members are paid $1,000 per month.

Of the 36,335 votes cast: Robin Nelson garnered 5,857 votes; Knutson had 5,839; Benson, 4,587; Paulson, 3,957; and Brian Nelson, 3,542.

Piechowski collected 3,325 votes; Calhoun, 3,171; Dei, 2,928; Sharif-Abdinasir, 2,246; and Twardowski, 827. There were 56 write-in votes.

School board members with two years left on their terms include Jim Johnson, Brandi Aune, John Rodenbiker and Kristi Ulrich.

 

Robin Nelson 16 percent

Rebecca Knutson 16 percent

Jennifer Benson 13 percent

David Paulson 11 percent

Brian Nelson 10 percent

Stacey Piechowski 9 percent

Sandra Calhoun 9 percent

Nyamal Dei 8 percent

Abdiwali Sharif-Abdinasir 6 percent

Rado Twardowski 2 percent