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Field of Moorhead City Council candidates set for election

Candidate pool finalized in local election. In addition to the mayoral race, the terms of Shelly Dahlquist in Ward 1, Heather Nesemeier in Ward 2, Deb White in Ward 3 and Chuck Hendrickson in Ward 4 are all expiring this year and are up for grabs.

Shelly Carlson Mayor Moorhead
Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson, right, officially announced her run for the Mayor’s office in Moorhead on Wednesday, June 1. She is flanked by supporter Lisa Borgen, VP of Administration at American Crystal Sugar and a former Minnesota District Court Judge and Clay County Attorney. On the left is Carlson's daughter, Jordan Carlson.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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MOORHEAD — Candidates vying for a spot on the Moorhead City Council are set for the upcoming election. The mayoral seat along with four spots on the City Council are available, with numerous candidates challenging.

Moorhead City Council is comprised of a mayor and eight council members, all of which serve four-year terms. Four wards with two council members representing each ward make up the City Council.

In addition to the mayoral race, the terms of Shelly Dahlquist in Ward 1, Heather Nesemeier in Ward 2, Deb White in Ward 3, and Chuck Hendrickson in Ward 4 are all expiring this year and are up for grabs.

Current council member Shelly Dahlquist has not filed her 2022 affidavit of candidacy, which officially closed at 5 p.m. on Aug. 16. Running for the available Ward 1 position are Ryan Nelson and Siham Amedy.

Ryan Nelson

Nelson has lived in Moorhead for more than 30 years. He is the current director of public safety for Minnesota State University Moorhead. Nelson was also a law enforcement officer for more than 20 years–17 of which were with the Moorhead Police Department. While on the force, he served as a patrol officer, a detective and a patrol sergeant. Nelson’s spouse works for the Moorhead School System and the couple have two children.


Siham Amedy

Amedy has lived in Moorhead for the past 25 years and works as the Inclusive Recruitment and Engagement Specialist at North Dakota State University in addition to her role as site manager for two Moorhead properties. Before that, Amedy worked for Cass County Social Services. She currently serves as the vice chair of the Moorhead Human Rights Commission, is involved with the MoorHeart committee and serves on the Board of New American Consortium. Amedy and her family were themselves New Americans, and now Amedy works to assist new community members in finding jobs, housing and community involvement opportunities.

The Ward 2 race includes incumbent Heather Nesemeier and newcomer Eileen Johnson.

Heather Nesemeier.jpg
Heather Nesemeier

Nesemeier has served on the Moorhead City Council since 2021 after she was selected to fill a vacant seat. Nesemeier is currently serving as vice president of the AFSCME Local 602 labor union. She helped found the Cass-Clay chapter of the Awesome Foundation, which financially supports local ideas that strive to make the area more awesome. Nesemeier worked as an organizer of school lunch fundraisers that sought to pay off Moorhead school lunch debts, and she assists at the community garden at Ellen Hopkins Nature Play Park.

Eileen Johnson

Johnson is a member of the Moorhead Business Association and an owner of Johnson’s Auto Repair in Moorhead with her husband of 32 years and two of her four sons. Johnson grew up working as part of a farming family, and now her own family of six all live in the Moorhead area. She plans to be a steadfast advocate for the residents of Moorhead as well as current and future Moorhead businesses.

In Ward 3, existing City Council member Deb White faces off against Dr. Rick Melbye.

Deb White.jpg
Deb White

White has lived in Moorhead for 22 years with her family. She is running for her second term on the Moorhead City Council after being elected in 2018. White is a professor at MSUM, where she works in the department of sociology and criminal justice. When she moved to Moorhead with her husband in 2001, she founded NEW Leadership Northern Lights, a leadership program for women in the upper Midwest. Her priorities while on City Council include promoting economic development and smart growth.

Dr. Rick Melbye has officially filed his affidavit of candidacy with the City of Moorhead. He was unable to be reached for comment.

Chuck Hendrickson.jpg
Chuck Hendrickson

Chuck Hendrickson of Ward 4 is running unopposed. He is one of the longest-serving Moorhead City Council members; this will be his third four-year term. He currently works as a technical writer at Aldevron, a Fargo company that contributes to advancing biological science worldwide. His fellow Ward 4 council representative, Steve Lindaas , is now living in Ward 2 due to recent redistricting; however, under the city's charter, Lindaas will complete his four-year term and serve Ward 4 through 2024.


Shelly Carlson.jpg
Shelly Carlson

Mayoral incumbent Shelly Carlson is seeking reelection this fall . Carlson has been mayor since she was sworn into office in 2021 to fill the rest of Johnathan Judd's term after he was named as a district court judge. Prior to that, she served as a Ward 2 representative on the council. She currently works at the Minnesota Elder Justice Center as the Criminal Justice Systems Manager and has served on several local boards.

Kevin Shores
Photo by Dave Wallis / The Forum

Carlson is up against Kevin Nese Shores, a longtime Moorhead resident. Shores is a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War. He has run for mayor on three separate occasions in 2001, 2005 and 2013. He also ran for the 7th Congressional District seat in Minnesota in 2020.

All nine candidates will share their platforms with Moorhead voters in the months leading up the Nov. 8 election.

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