Two city councils and District 1 County Commissioner to feature contested races

The Karlstad City Council, the Lake Bronson City Council, and the District 1 Kittson County Commissioner position will feature contested races during the upcoming November 3 General Election.

The Karlstad City Council will for sure see at least one new face in January 2021 after city council member Michael Wade decided to not run for re-election this November. He will have served the council for two four-year terms when his term expires on January 1, 2021.

Asked what he’s most proud of from his time on council, he first said being accountable to people— the residents— including bringing up their questions and concerns.
“I always wanted to at least communicate with them (the people) and talk to them,” Wade said. “… I might have not agreed with them and then many times I did agree with them. But I always wanted to make sure that their voice could be heard.”

He also talked about wanting to make Karlstad more than “just a place that you drive through,” including enhancing the city park, offering more services, and moving forward with technology— from enhancing the website and allowing for online bill pay. This effort also involves presenting the town as a place to do business, including helping these business prosper more.

As for what else he is proud of, Wade mentioned standing up to a select few— those who “don’t always feel they have to abide by the rules or constraints,” he said— on behalf of the majority. He cited a couple examples of this majority, including elderly at assisted living facilities, children desiring something at a park, and businesses.
Wade originally planned to run for just one term, but decided to run for that second term. He was asked why he didn’t run for a third term.

“I’m not saying in this particular case, but I think sometimes you can have the same people running over and (over) and it can become stagnant,” Wade said, “—stagnant with ideas, stagnant with creativity, stagnant with how to go about doing things that are maybe even more efficient.”

He wanted to allow for some new ideas.

“I think sometimes it’s just good to move away for a little while because you really, you’ll allow other people to kind of come in and (fellow council members to) go, ‘Alright, this person has some great ideas. I can take that in a different direction,’” Wade said. “… I think as long as we have people that are caring, first of all.”

Three individuals are running for two Karlstad City Council positions up for election. Incumbent council member George Hultgren is running for re-election. Non-incumbents Kristin Berberich and Robbie Mickelson are also running for Karlstad City Council.

The Lake Bronson City Council will also for sure see at least one new face in January 2021 after city council member Phil Matthew chose to not run for re-election this November. He will have served the council from August 2019 to his term expiration on the first Monday of 2021.

Four individuals are running for two Lake Bronson City Council positions. Incumbent council member Leana Kowaliuk is running for re-election. Non-incumbents Tony James Shablow, Dustin Shablow, and Jill Frei are also running for Lake Bronson City Council.

These city council terms run for four years. The election filing period for these city councils ran from July 28 through August 11.

As for District 1 Kittson County Commissioner, three individuals are running for this position. According to the Kittson County website, the District 1 County Commissioner represents the Arveson and Pelan Townships and the City of Karlstad. Incumbent District 1 Commissioner Corey Wikstrom is running for re-election. Non-incumbents Brian Anderson and Nathan A. Kraulik are also running for the District 1 position.

County Commissioner terms last four years. The election filing period for County Commissioner positions ran from May 19 to June 2.

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