Three races develop for Moorhead City Council seats

paid leave 4-1-19
Moorhead City Council Member Heidi Durand speaks on Monday, April 1, about the importance of proposed legislation in Minnesota that would provide paid family and medical leave. Durand spoke about the challenges she and her husband face in caring for a child with serious health needs. She said that while she and her husband have supportive employers who provide the flexibility they require to care for their child, "I feel very sorry for the families who don't have this." Also pictured is Mark Froemke, president of the West/Red River Valley Area Labor Council. Dave Olson / The Forum

MOORHEAD — It appears one candidate will run unopposed in the Moorhead City Council races in November, while contests developed in the other three city wards.

Filings for the council ended Tuesday, Aug. 11.

In Ward 2 in the south-central part of the city, two-term Moorhead City Council member Heidi Durand told The Forum she won't be seeking reelection, joining council member Sara Watson Curry in opting out of incumbency.

Durand said she wants to devote more of her time to her position as a commissioner on the Moorhead Public Service Commission that oversees city utility operations and also on her pet project to restrict payday loans that she believes prey on the poor.

She also will dedicate more of her time, she said, to her work with nonprofits.


Only one person filed to replace Durand on the council in Ward 2. She's Laura Caroon, a co-founder of Ladyboss Midwest, a networking group with 5,000 online followers that aims to empower and connect women so they can be confident in their abilities and be more successful in life and business.

She said she was running for the council to protect the health, safety and dignity of people in the community. She said one of her main goals on the council would be to advocate for women and their families and help them succeed in all areas of their lives.

Two races developed in the last two days of filings involving two incumbents who were just elected last year in a special election.

Two men decided to challenge incumbent Steve Lindaas for the Ward 4 seat in the southeast part of the city. They are Dave Anderson and Jeremiah Jones.

Anderson, who works for Sanford Health in community relations, previously served on the MPS Commission for eight years before resigning late last year. He also was the first director of the Fargo Downtown Community Partnership for 10 years before taking the job with Sanford.

He said he thought this was a good time to run for office as he's planning to semi-retire at the end of the year. He also believes he can offer the council some "sound policy experience."

Jones, who also ran for the seat last fall, is a local business owner. He didn't immediately return a phone call.

Lindaas, a professor and department chairman of the physics and astronomy department at Minnesota State University Moorhead, was elected in a special election last fall to serve the final year of the term of Steve Gehrtz, who resigned to devote more time to his family and construction business.


The other contest featuring an incumbent will be in Ward 3, in the southwest part of the city along the Red River, where Larry Seljevold, will run against John Bell, who also sought the seat in last fall's special election.

Seljevold won the special election last fall to complete the term of Joel Paulsen, who resigned after taking over the executive direction position of the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority. Seljevold, a retired physical education teacher, has also served only one year.

Bell, the finance manager for St. John's Lutheran Church in Fargo, said he's interested in serving to make sure the city is delivering services in the best possible way, including for those may not always have a voice. He said some of his core issues are parks, transit and affordable housing.

The race with the most candidates is in Ward 1, where Watson Curry held the position for the past four years. There are five residents in the north Moorhead district who have thrown their hats in the ring to succeed her.

They are Matthew Gilbertson, Quindlynn Overland, Alexa Dixson-Griggs, Ryan Jensen and Kristine Thompson.

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