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Ron Johnson announces for Bemidji mayor

Third-term Bemidji City Councilor Ron Johnson announced Saturday that he plans to run for mayor in November.

"I have been encouraged to run for mayor by fellow council members and by other community leaders since Richard Lehmann announced his plans to step down as mayor at the end of his current term to run for state office," said Johnson, a lifelong resident of Bemidji. He made the comments in a press release.

"I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved during my 10 years on the Bemidji City Council," Johnson said. "Bemidji is experiencing tremendous growth and with that growth has come many opportunities and challenges. I believe that I have the skills and the experience needed to continue moving Bemidji in a positive direction."

Johnson currently represents the City of Bemidji on several committees, including the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority, the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, the Bemidji Regional Event Center Advisory Board and the Public Affairs Committee. Johnson also represents Bemidji on the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and is currently serving as secretary on that group's board of directors. He has also served on the Telecommunications Policy Task Force for the League of Minnesota Cities and on the Communications Steering Committee for the National League of Cities.

"It has been a privilege to serve the residents of Ward 3 for the past 10 years and I would be honored to continue serving the residents of Bemidji as their mayor," Johnson said in the release.

Lehmann was endorsed last Saturday as the Republican choice to oppose incumbent State Rep. John Persell, DFL-District 4A.