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Don't forget about local level races

Sure, the "big" races for president, Congress and state Legislature are grabbing headlines.

But voters also have key decisions to make at the local level where they'll select mayor, city council and school board candidates. Here's a look at who is running for those spots in this area:

In Alexandria, Sara Carlson and Mark Pederson are vying for mayor, and two council seats are contested: Ward 3, Owen Miller and William Stark, and Ward 5, Elroy Frank and Todd Jensen.

Other contested city races in Douglas County include: Carlos mayor - Herby Dahl and Daniel Plowman; Carlos council (two positions) - Todd Burgess, Richard Pierson, Jason Thimmesh; Garfield mayor - Dan Kalina and Gaye Mounsdon; Kensington council (two positions) - Michael Johnson, Amanda Kramer, Brian Randt; Miltona council (two positions) - Rick Alton, Alan Bettermann, Kirk Smith; Nelson council (two positions) - Michael Erickson, Beverly Hansen, Jason Karl; and Osakis council (two positions) - Larry Dillehay, Kyle Kostrzewski, Jerry Olson.

One township in the county, Brandon Township, holds its elections in November. There are no contested races for the two supervisor and one treasurer positions, but residents will vote on a ballot question to decide whether the clerk and treasurer positions should be appointed by the town board rather than elected.

Three other local ballot questions will be decided this election, all involving the sale of liquor. The cities of Brandon and Osakis are asking voters whether their city councils should be allowed to issue on-sale liquor licenses to hotels, clubs and restaurants. (Each city currently owns and operates a municipal liquor store.) The city of Osakis is also asking if on-sale liquor sales should be allowed on Sundays.

Douglas County voters will also decide who should be their voice on their local school board.

In Alexandria School District 206, there is a contested race for Position 7 between two newcomers, Laura Knudsen and Angie Krebs.

In Brandon School District 207, five candidates have filed for four positions. They include Kevin Challes, Timothy Lauthen, Cheryl Schaffran, Arthur Vinson and Chad Way. A special election to fill an at-large spot is also taking place between Kim Fuchs and Michael Randt.

Evansville School District 208 has four candidates running for the four available positions - David Anderson, Ethan Henneman, Kent Huisman and Britta Richter.

Osakis School District 213 has a race with four candidates vying for three spots - Craig Cody, Pat Hildebrandt, Shari Maloney and Genny Maus LeBrun.

Minnewaska School District 2149 has five candidates running for four positions - Lonnie Hoffman, Jeff Holtberg, Randy Kinney, Robert Mork and Jim Peters.

In West Central Area School District 2342, six candidates are in the running for four spots - Daryl Amundson, Jill Beuckens, Chad Biss, Tina Lindquist, Steven Martineau and Richard Toms.

In Parkers Prairie School District 547, four candidates have filed for three positions - Glenn Cornish, Meagan Moen, Mary Peterson and Jeffrey Samuelson.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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