Appointed Moorhead mayor announces election bid for the office

Shelly Carlson, appointed in February 2021 to fill the rest of Jonathan Judd's mayoral term, is seeking to keep the post.

Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson stands outside with a supporter and her daughter
Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson, right, officially announced her run for the office on Wednesday, June 1. She is flanked by supporter Lisa Borgen, a vice president at American Crystal Sugar and a former Minnesota District Court Judge and Clay County Attorney. On the far left is Carlson's daughter, Jordan Carlson.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — Shelly Carlson wants to keep her job as mayor of Moorhead, announcing her candidacy for the post in the November general election.

She held a news conference outside Third Drop Coffee on Wednesday, June 1, saying she wants to continue serving the Moorhead community for four years.

This is Carlson’s first time running a campaign.

She was the Ward 2 representative on the Moorhead City Council when she was unanimously appointed mayor in February 2021 to fill the remainder of Johnathan Judd's term after he was named as a district court judge.

Carlson touted numerous accomplishments since she’s been in office, including welcoming the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater to a space in the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, bank and apartment building projects and completion of the Moorhead Armory.


“If you look around, there are projects happening all over our community but I want to see more. I'm a little bit greedy,” Carlson said with a laugh.

She also applauded resumption last month of a mutual aid agreement between local law enforcement agencies on either side of the Red River, which was on hold for over a year due to a change in Minnesota law.

“I know that I sleep better at night knowing that if something happens, we have all of our law enforcement agencies on which to call upon,” Carlson said.

She gave credit to Clay County Attorney Brian Melton, who she said provided the training needed to update North Dakota law enforcement of the change.

If elected, Carlson said she will focus on development, infrastructure and safety.

Moorhead will seek its first-ever local option sales tax in November to build a new community center and library somewhere along Center Avenue, she said.

The Roers company of Fargo will unveil its master plan this summer for redevelopment of the Moorhead Center Mall.

In terms of infrastructure, the $51 million railroad underpass project at 20th and 21st Streets is expected to open to traffic in mid-July.


Construction on the 11th Street underpass project is slated to begin in 2024, pending funding, which Carlson said she’s committed to securing.

Moorhead is seeking $25 million in federal money to complete that project.

Carlson said she would also focus on getting eight open positions on the Moorhead Police Department filled.

It’s not yet known whether Carlson will face opponents.

The period for candidates to file is August 2-16, a city clerk said.

The general election in Moorhead will be held on Tuesday, November 8.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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