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Gaasvig defeats Grosfield in Beltrami County District 1 race

Craig Gaasvig

BEMIDJI -- Craig Gaasvig defeated Natalie Grosfield on Tuesday in the Beltrami County District 1 race. Keith Winger announced earlier this year he wouldn’t seek re-election.

With all precincts reporting, Gaasvig garnered 54 percent of the vote and Grosfield had 46 percent. Gaasvig received 2,037 votes and Grosfield 1,709.

Gaasvig, 50, is the regional account manager at North Country Business Products, while Grosfield, 59, is the lease manager and regional office coordinator, as well as the interim contract rights administrator, at Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media.

Gaasvig has served as a supervisor for Port Hope Township for the past 12 years. He’s also been on the board of directors for Beltrami Electric Cooperative and has held various positions on the Ducks Unlimited committee.

Gaasvig said he was approached by someone from the county who asked if he would consider running and decided to after talking with those close to him.

“I’m committed and consistent and when I decide to do something, I want to do my best at it,” Gaasvig said, citing his terms on the township and Beltrami Electric boards. “I think that’s why I was asked to run for it.”

Regarding the rising cost for Beltrami County’s Health and Human Services Department’s out-of-home placement, Gaasvig said he’s already spoken with Sen. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids, about the issue.

“We need to collaborate with the Red Lake Tribe, with the state and federal officials, if possible, along with the county to hopefully to get the Red Lake Nation to be what’s called initiative tribe and give them the ability to have total control over their own children’s safety and success,” Gaasvig said in mid-October.  

While campaigning, Gaasvig said that his three main priorities would be the citizens of Beltrami County, the public health and safety of the citizens, and also maintaining fiscal responsibility for the county.

Grosfield also served as a supervisor for Port Hope Township in the 1990s. She also worked in insurance for 12 years prior to joining MPR.

“I think that the county needs strong direction and possibly a new perspective,” Grosfield said while campaigning. She also said she would like to look into long-range planning for Beltrami County for anywhere from 20 to 50 years out.  

Beltrami County District 1 includes the city of Bemidji Ward 5, the cities of Turtle River and Tenstrike and Summit, Port Hope, Taylor, Birch, Turtle River, Sugar Bush, Moose Lake, Frohn, Ten Lake and unorganized Brook Lake townships.

District 3

Retired educator Richard Anderson was seeking re-election and running unopposed to represent District 3 for Beltrami County. He received 2,608 votes with 12 of 15 precincts reporting.

Anderson, 72, a past teacher and administrator, has served on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners since 2011 and was first elected to finish the remainder of Jim Heltzer’s term.

A highlight for Anderson in his most recent term on the board was seeing the Bemidji veterans home come to fruition.

District 3 covers the cities of Solway and Wilton along with townships Alaska, Bemidji, Buzzle, Durand, Grant Valley, Hagali, Jones, Lammers, Liberty, Maple Ridge, Nebish, O'Brien and Roosevelt.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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