Rematch is on for Park Rapids mayor
The candidate filing period for city and school offices closed Aug. 14.
Park Rapids City Council
In Park Rapids, incumbent Pat Mikesh and challenger Pam Hauber filed for the position of mayor with a two-year term. It isn't their first election facing each other.
Previously a city council member, Mikesh became mayor in 2013 after narrowly defeating incumbent mayor Nancy Carroll. He weathered a challenge by Hauber in 2014, winning his first re-election with 66 percent of the vote. In the 2016 election, he took 62 percent of the vote over opponent Sam Spaeth.
A Nebraska native who moved into the area as a child, Mikesh also works for Minnesota Energy and served until recently was a volunteer firefighter.
"While bing your Mayor I have gained a lot of knowledge on how local government works, working with staff and keeping our budget on track and to a minimum," Mikesh told the Enterprise. "We restructured our Police Department and brought in a new chief to give the city a great department with more training and the tools they need to keep up with our growing city. And as your mayor I will continue to work hard for you and with you to achieve our goals.and make Park Rapids a town we are all proud to call our home."
Hauber described herself as a wife and mother who has worked for the last 17 years at RDO Lamb Weston, and has lived in Park Rapids all but six months of her life.
Hauber said she hopes to bring honest change to the city after eight years with the same mayor. Saying that Park Rapids residents pay a lot in taxes while the city has trouble affording infrastructure improvements, she added, "I would like to find a way to get this straightened out. I feel this town deserves more."
Current Council Members Tom Conway and Erika Randall also filed for the two city council seats with four-year terms that will be on the November ballot.
Conway was appointed to the council in 2017 to replace the late Dick Rutherford. Randall was appointed in 2013 to fill the seat vacated by Mikesh's election as mayor. In 2014, she was re-elected unopposed.
Nevis City Council
Incumbent Jarod Senger was the only person to file for the two-year position of mayor. Incumbents Jeanne Thompson and Rich Johnson also refiled for their four-year terms unchallenged. Teresa Leshovsky was the only person who filed in the special election for Kelly Poole's vacated seat, which will also be on the ballot in November.
Menahga City Council
Nathan R. Carlson and Joan D. Liimatta are vying for Menahga mayor this November.
Larry Karjala, who was appointed to the council after Dennis Komulainen resigned, is the sole candidate for a two-year term. Arthur Huebner and Robyn Keranen seek election to a four-year council seat.
Akeley City Council
Five candidates filed for the three seats open on the Akeley City Council. Incumbents Margaret Bond Vorel, Gary (Dan) Riggs and Billy Krotzer filed, along with newcomers Mark Hood and Jon Mitchell.
Park Rapids School Board
Incumbent school board members Stephanie Carlson, Clayton Hoyt and Dennis Dodge filed for the three seats on the Park Rapids Area School Board that will be on the November ballot, each with a four-year term.
Dodge was first elected to the school board in 1990. Carlson has served since 2007, and Hoyt since 2015.
Nevis School Board
Three candidates filed for the three open seats on the Nevis School Board currently held by Jeanette Dudley, Andy Lindow and Gary Stennes.
Lindow and Stennes filed. Jeanette Dudley did not file, and Ed Becker filed for the open seat. All three positions have four-year terms.
Menahga School Board
Incumbents are Andrea Haverinen, Durwin Tomperi and Katie Howard are re-running for their seats. All four-year terms. Joining the race is Bob Smith, a local pastor who has worked in the education system as a bus driver, sub teacher, coach.