Candidate filing period for 2020 races less than a month away

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BEMIDJI -- Citizens considering to run in the 2020 election cycle have a little over a month to decide whether they want to throw their hat in the ring.

The filing time frame for most elections is May 19 through June 2, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, that period hasn't changed. According to Bemidji City Clerk Michelle Miller something that may change is how people file.

"The time period is the same, it hasn't changed," Miller said. "It's just going to be a matter of how it happens."

The May 19 to June 2 period applies to all county, state and federal offices, with the time frame ending at 5 p.m. However, it does vary for some cities.

Candidates in cities where a primary is possible must file from May 19 to June 2. In cities with no primary, though, the filing period is open from July 28 through Aug. 11. This applies to the state's school districts, too.


Meanwhile, for townships that hold elections in November, such as Northern Township, the filing period is open from July 28 through Aug. 11.

2020 seats

In the city of Bemidji, residents can run for council seats in Wards 1, 3 and 5. The terms are four years long.

In 2016, Ward 1 and 3 Council members Michael Meehlhause and Ron Johnson won re-election, running unopposed. Ward 5 Council member Nancy Erickson also won re-election that year, defeating Don Heinonen 682-664.

The mayoral position is also available this year, as the term is for two years. Mayor Rita Albrecht won re-election in 2018, defeating Joe Vene 2,929-2,061.

A special election for the Ward 2 council seat is also set for this year. In 2018, Michael Beard won the Ward 2 seat, defeating Jaime Thibodeaux 397-356.

However, in January, Beard resigned, citing health reasons. A special election had originally been scheduled for May, but because of an error in determining the filing period, the election was moved to Aug. 11. The new filing period will follow the May 19 to June 2 timeline.

At the county level, three of the five commissioner seats on the Beltrami board will be up for election. For 2020, residents can run in Districts 2, 4 and 5.

Reed Olson is the District 2 incumbent, defeating Joe Vene in 2016, 1,845-1,768. Tim Sumner was re-elected in 2016 for District 4, defeating Vince Gross, 1,880-1,295.


In District 5, Jim Lucachick won re-election, defeating Ralph Morris, 2,686-1,374.

At the state level, 2020 is an election year for all House districts and some Senate districts. Regionally, the District 5A incumbent is Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

Persell defeated Matt Bliss, R-Pennington for the seat in 2018, 8,454-8,443. Bliss is running to return to the seat in 2020.

In District 2A, the incumbent is Matt Grossell, who won re-election in 2018 against Michael Northbird, 10,066-6,765. Jeremiah Liend is running on the DFL ticket this year.

For Senate District 5, the incumbent is Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, who was elected in 2016 over Tom Saxhaug, 20,240-19,687. DFL challengers this year include Albrecht and attorney Charles Dolson.

The endorsing convention for District 5 will be done digitally from April 25 through May 4.

The incumbent in District 2 is Sen. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, who defeated Rod Skoe in 2016, 22,232-17,002. This year, White Earth Nation official Alan Roy is running on the DFL side.

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