Weather Forecast


Six Bemidji School Board candidates advance

Voters in the Bemidji School District chose six candidates to continue in the race for three Bemidji School Board positions in Tuesday's primary election.

Advancing to the Nov. 7 general election are incumbents Carol L. Johnson, Steven H. Johnson and Mona Carter and challengers Joe Ryan, Bill Faver and Jay Huseby. Meanwhile, Toni Gersich, Bonnie Rock and T.J. Melcher were eliminated from the race. Melcher announced prior to the election that he was no longer seeking office.

Just before midnight, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State reported the following unofficial results with all votes counted in Beltrami and Hubbard counties: Carol L. Johnson with 2,479 votes, Ryan with 1,891, Faver with 1,792, Steven H. Johnson with 1,734, Carter with 1,271, Huseby with 997, Gersich with 918, Rock with 861 and Melcher with 425.

Tuesday's results will remain unofficial until the School Board canvasses them tonight.

The school district held the primary election in conjunction with the state primary election because there were more than twice as many candidates as there are at-large positions available. The three available positions are four-year terms.

"I'm very pleased with the primary results," Carol L. Johnson said. "And I would like to thank the voters for their pledge of confidence."

Meanwhile, she said she pledges her ongoing dedication to her service on the School Board.

While waiting for the results to be tallied earlier Tuesday night, Ryan said would be pleased to advance to the general election.

"I've always been interested in education and educational issues," said Ryan, adding that he now has the time to commit to serve on the School Board.

By advancing, he noted that he will have more work to do to share his platform with voters before the general election.

Steven H. Johnson also said he will be campaigning harder before Nov. 7 to let people know he wants to continue to serve on the School Board.

"Fourth isn't good enough," he said.

Before the results were completely tallied Tuesday night, Carter said she would be glad to have the chance to continue on to the general election.

Meanwhile, she noted that she will "continue work as usual" in her current post on the School Board.

Huseby said he was excited by the news that he had advanced to the general election.

"It's an honor to make the final cut," he said. "I'm very happy for the support."

Now, Huseby said, he will keep moving forward and "keep putting the message out there ... and hope for the best."

Faver was not available for comment late Tuesday night.