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Bill Batchelder of Bemidji Woolen Mills, others announce bid for Bemidji City Council Ward 5 spot

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, Bemidji Woolen Mills Owner Bill Batchelder and three others announced their run for the Bemidji City Council's vacant Ward 5 seat.

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Bill Batchelder

BEMIDJI -- Local business owner Bill Batchelder and three others announced their candidacy for the open Bemidji Ward 5 seat on Tuesday.

Batchelder's announcement comes nearly three months after former Bemidji City Council member Nancy Erickson resigned from the position. Batchelder is the owner of Bemidji Woolen Mills, a downtown store that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year .

"My heart is in Bemidji and its people," Batchelder said. "There is no other city I know. You will have a friend willing to listen."

In a release, he said his top priorities include public safety, individual homeownership, expanding the city's tax base and reducing taxes at all levels.

Other candidate filings as of Tuesday evening are Lynn Eaton, Micaiah Graham and Don Heinonen.

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Erickson, who had won her fourth overall term on the council in 2020 over Don Heinonen, 797-637 , resigned on Sept. 8. In a statement, Erickson said, "the council is moving Bemidji in fundamental directions that I can't support. I am no longer able to effectively represent our citizens with confidence."

The filing time for candidates to run for the Ward 5 seat opened Tuesday and will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 14. A special election is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2022, with Northwest Technical College serving as the polling place. If nobody receives more than 50% of the votes cast, a runoff election will take place in August 2022.

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Bill Batchelder

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