Arts leader announces bid for Senate District 8

Michele Anderson

Michele Anderson, a resident of Fergus Falls and an arts nonprofit leader, announced her candidacy for Senate District 8 in the 2020 election Monday.

“I am a fierce rural advocate and a proven leader.” Anderson said in a video asking local DFLers for their endorsement during their online convention that started on April 25. “I am joining this race because we cannot wait any longer to include more voices in addressing our state’s challenges.”

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, has held the Senate position since he was elected in 2006.

Anderson is the rural program director at Springboard for the Arts, a community and economic development organization for artists. Through her work, she travels across the state and country working with rural leaders on creative community development initiatives.

Her writing on rural advocacy has been featured in multiple publications, including the New York Times, and she is internationally known for standing up for rural communities after co-writing a rebuttal to a German journalist’s fabricated portrayal of Fergus Falls in Der Spiegel Magazine. She is an alum of the Blandin Community Leadership Institute and has served on many boards and committees during her time in Fergus Falls.


“With the current COVID crisis, we are facing unprecedented challenges that will require more creativity, compassion and collaboration than ever, as well as strong rural advocacy that is rooted in research and data,” Anderson said. “At the Capitol, I will use my 15 years in nonprofit leadership — which has taught me important skills in partnerships, community engagement, and fiscal management — to get things done."

Some of her priorities, she said, include bolstering local economies, ending addiction and suicide, protecting the environment, and increasing access to broadband internet.

Anderson lives in Fergus Falls with her husband, Spencer, and their 1-year old son.

To learn more about Anderson, visit or follow her Facebook and Twitter pages @micheleformn8.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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