MOORHEAD — Moorhead voters in the southern part of the city elected two new city council members on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The voters elected former city councilman Larry Seljevold in Ward 3 in the southwest part of the city and professor Steve Lindaas in Ward 4 in the southeast part of the city, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting.
For the past few months, the Moorhead City Council has been down to six members. The council will be back to full strength on Nov. 12 when the two new members will be welcomed at a reception at 4:30 p.m. and sworn in.
Seljevold, a 63-year-old retired physical education teacher, served one term on the council 20 years ago after being elected in 1998.
He credited times he "knocked on a lot of doors" and visited with many people in his ward for his victory. He said most people wanted to talk about the successful school bond referendum and developing downtown.
"We need to do something there," he said as he celebrated with his family after learning of the results about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
He won with 33% of the vote among five candidates. He had 654 votes, compared to his next closest challenger, Brent Behm, who had 28% or 536 votes. Other candidate totals were Edwin Hahn with 16% or 306 votes, Troy Krabbenhoft with 14% or 265 votes and John Bell with 9% or 173 votes.
Lindaas, 54, who is the chairman of the department of physics and astronomy at Minnesota State University Moorhead, said he also knocked on a lot of doors. He also heard a lot about the school referendum, but he said residents wanted to communicate more with the council.
"I enjoyed talking with people and am looking forward to more visits," he said.
Lindaas said his priorities as he takes office are kids, community and climate.
He won with 42% in a field of seven candidates. With 744 votes, he handily defeated his next closest challenger, Marc Hedlund, who had 24% or 428 votes. Other candidates were Swede Stelzer with 17% or 303 votes, Ryan Larson with 7% or 123 votes, James McKinstra with 4% or 64 votes, Jeremiah Jones with 3% or 54 votes and Eric Smith with 3% or 46 votes.
This summer, Steve Gehrtz announced he was stepping down from his Ward 4 seat for business and family reasons. A few weeks later, Joel Paulsen took a job as director of the F-M Diversion Authority and resigned his Ward 3 seat. The council decided to wait for the November election rather than appoint replacements.
The winners will serve a one-year term to finish out those of Gehrtz and Paulsen.