Posted 2/03/10 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
With snow on the ground and temperatures still below freezing, it’s difficult to think ahead to the local elections coming this June. However, if you’re an elected official or you think you could do a better job than a current elected official, it’s time to start thinking ahead to warmer days.
McKenzie County residents will go to the polls on June 8, 2010 to cast their votes for various city, county and school board positions, including the Watford City Mayor, McKenzie County Sheriff, McKenzie County State’s Attorney, Watford City City Council, McKenzie County Commission and various School Board positions.
“The June election is a Primary Election for the County and State races with the final outcome for those positions being determined by the General Election in November,” says Frances Olson, McKenzie County auditor. “However, the city and school elections in June are General Elections, so the winners in June will be the officeholders.”
If you’re planning to run for office, the first step is to get all of your paperwork in order. Paperwork includes a Petition/Certificate of Nomination, an Affidavit of Candidacy and a Statement of Interests and can be accessed from the Auditor’s office for County positions, respective City Auditor for City positions and respective District office for School Board positions or on the internet at www.nd.gov/sos/electvote/.
“The proper paperwork needs to be filed with the respective office by 4 p.m. on April 9, 2010,” says Olson. “If the proper paperwork isn’t turned in on time, the applicant won’t appear on the ballot.”
McKenzie County Elections
At the time of the election, anyone running for a County office must be a qualified elector in the jurisdiction in which the candidate will serve. A qualified elector of McKenzie County is a person who is a United States Citizen, 18 years of age or older and a resident of McKenzie County for at least 30 days before the Primary Election.
County positions up for election in the 2010 Primary are County Auditor, with incumbent Frances Olson not running, County State’s Attorney, incumbent Dennis Edward Johnson, County Recorder, incumbent Ann Johnsrud, County Treasurer, incumbent Linda Svihovec, County Sheriff, with incumbent Ron Rankin planning to run for another term and two County Commission seats, currently held by Roger Chinn and Rick Lawlar.
The top two vote-getters for each race in the Primary Election will advance to November’s General Election in which the winner will be the officeholder.
A person is eligible to hold a City office if he or she is a qualified voter for the city and a resident of the city for at least nine months preceding the election.
The Watford City Mayor position will be up for election and incumbent, Kent Pelton, has not decided if he will be running.
“I’ve enjoyed being the Mayor for the past four years, and we still have a lot of things that we need to do,” says Pelton. “However, I’m not sure if I will be running again. The upcoming election is something that I’m still thinking about.”
The Watford City City Council has three seats up for election - Ward I, incumbent Brent Sanford, Ward II, incumbent Alvin Wold and Ward III, incumbent Shane Homiston. The city will also have three four-year Park Board positions on the ballot. Watford City Park Board incumbents are Berton Bates, Roy Degenstein and Cari Liebel.
The Alexander City Council has two four-year terms up for re-election. The positions are currently held by Chad Simonson who is planning to run again and Joe Mrachek who has decided to retire his position. The Alexander Park Board also has two four-year terms up for election with incumbents Ed Rettig and Dusty Bratsberg both running again. The Park Board has one unexpired term open which is currently held by Janelle Anderson.
The Arnegard Mayor’s position will be on the ballot, with incumbent Harold Larson not planning to run for another term. The Arnegard City Council will have two seats up for re-election. Incumbents are Bryan Bjornstad and Virginia Elliot.
Any person who is a qualified elector of the state is qualified to be a member of the school board in the district in which the person resides.
McKenzie County School District No.1 will have three positions on the ballot - Area 1, Watford City, incumbent Pam Ramage, Area 2 & 3, Watford City or rural Arnegard, incumbent Gary Bruins and Area 4 & 5, Grail, Twin Valley #5, Schafer #8 or Little Missouri #13, incumbent Beth Veeder.
Alexander Public School District No. 2 has two School Board positions up for re-election. Yellowstone School District No. 14 has three four-year terms open and the Mandaree Public School will have two board positions on the ballot.
If you’re interested in getting more involved in your county, city or school, now is the time to get your paperwork in order and filed, because before you know it, the snow will be melted and Election Day will be here.