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BEMIDJI CITY PRIMARY: Larson, Johnson to vie for mayor; Hellquist and Sathers advance in Ward 2; Thompson and Lemmer to vie for at-large seat

If Tuesday's primary election was any indication, the race for mayor of Bemidji will be tightly contested on Nov. 2.

Newcomer Dave Larson and current Ward 3 City Councilor Ron Johnson advanced from a field of five candidates Tuesday. Larson received 470 votes and Johnson received 465.

They easily outdistanced the other three candidates. Dave Lalone was third with 164 votes, followed by Laverne "Pedie" Pederson with 124 and Adam Steele with 52.

Current Mayor Richard Lehmann is the Republican candidate for state representative in House District 4A.

Meanwhile, incumbent Roger Hellquist will be challenged by former Bemidji Fire Chief Richard A. Sathers in the Nov. 2 general election for the city's Ward 2 council seat.

In Tuesday's primary, Hellquist received 78 votes and Sathers received 61. Reed Olson received 50 votes and will not advance to the November election.

For the at-large city council position, Jim Thompson and Linda Lemmer advanced to the November election. Thompson led the way with 692 votes and Lemmer received 363. Byron Rock received 132 votes and failed to advance. The at-large seat is held by Barbara Meuers, who did not seek re-election.

There was no primary in the Ward 4 race, where incumbent Jerry Downs will be challenged by former city staffer Rita Albrecht.