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Steen won't seek reelection to Cass County board

Longtime elected public official wants to fully enjoy retirement

Attachment-1.jpeg
Cass County Commissioner Rick Steen
Submitted photo

FARGO — Cass County Commission Board chairman Rick Steen has decided against seeking a third term.

Steen, who was first elected to the board from District 2 in southeast Fargo in 2014, said there is no one factor in making his decision, but said he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Laurie, to fully enjoy retirement.

He retired as a partner in Eide Bailly in 2017, but has maintained a fairly busy schedule since with his public service work.

He said one of his main goals when he ran in 2014 was to secure permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead region and has served on the diversion authority board or its finance committee since 2016.

"I have been fortunate to work with so many great people at the county working to improve so many aspects of being a citizen of Cass County," he said in a statement announcing his decision.

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Prior to serving on the Cass County Commission, he was also on the Fargo Board of Education from 2002 to 2014. Steen has also served on numerous nonprofit boards, as well as many panels as part of his county commissioner position.

He currently representing the county on the Fargo Dome Authority board, where he serves as chairman of the finance and building committee.

"I want to thank my fellow commissioners, past and present, for all they've done, and to thank the citizens of Cass County for having elected me to the Commission," he said.

He said he wants to spend more time with his wife at their lake home, traveling and spend more time with their children and grandchildren.

Steen will serve until his term expires at the end of the year. His district includes the southeast part of Fargo from the Red River west to Interstate 29 and from Main Avenue south to 52nd Avenue.

So far, no one has officially filed for his district's seat or for the one other position up for grabs this year on the county board, although Adam Martin has announced he will run in District 4, or West Fargo, a position currently held by Duane Breitling, who was elected in 2018.

Martin is founder and CEO of the F5 Project, a nonprofit that helps area felons transition from incarceration to civilian life.

Filings opened for the four-year terms on the county board on Jan. 2 and will run until April 11 at 4 p.m. with a petition with 300 signatures required for any candidate. The candidates will run in the June 11 primary with the top two candidates in each of the two districts advancing to the November general election.

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Although county commissioners must live in one of the five districts up for election, all voters in Cass County can cast ballots for commissioners.

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