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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 25, 2014, 12:52 PM

Fargo school board member Strand will run for City Commission

FARGO – The election for city commissioners here is heating up, with a two-term school board member announcing his candidacy on Tuesday.

By: Erik Burgess, Forum News Service, INFORUM, Forum News Service

FARGO – The election for city commissioners here is heating up, with a two-term school board member announcing his candidacy on Tuesday.

John Strand will seek one of two commissioner seats up for grabs this year in the June 10 election.

Strand, 58, said he saw an opportunity to run after City Commissioner Brad Wimmer announced last week that he would not seek re-election to his seat and instead run for mayor against incumbent Dennis Walaker.

“I’m humbled and honored to be a public servant and eager to do my best and to be part of the process, if I get the mandate of the people to continue that in another arena,” Strand said in an interview Tues-day. “I would give it my absolute best shot.”

Strand was elected to his first four-year term as a school board member in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 to serve another four years. Strand said if elected to the commission, he would serve in both roles simultaneously.

Strand said he would be an advocate for what he called “at-risk residents,” including those in poverty, the mentally ill, single-parent families, people of color, the lesbian, gay and transgender community and senior citizens.

He also said one of his values is focusing on infill and promoting inner city neighborhoods.

“I understand growth, but you take care of what you got, also,” he said.

Strand is co-owner and sales director of the High Plains Reader, Fargo’s alternative weekly news-paper. He was previously the paper’s editor.

The filing deadline for this year’s city election is 4 p.m. April 7. There are three spots open: two commission seats and the mayor’s. Commissioners and the mayor are elected at-large. Three park com-missioner spots are also open.

Wimmer and Walaker are so far the only two who have filed for the office of mayor, said City Auditor Steve Sprague.

City Commissioner Tim Mahoney is running for re-election to his seat.

Anthony Gehrig, who ran for commission and lost in 2012, has also filed for the city commission race this year.

The term limit for city commissioner and mayor is three successive terms, unless they have served in both capacities. Then they can serve a total of four successive terms between the two roles.

The Fargo School Board has five of its nine seats up for election this year. The filing deadline is the same as the city.

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