BEMIDJI -- The next representative for Bemidji Ward 1 will either be Joe Gould or Audrey Thayer after Tuesday's primary.
Results show Thayer and Gould finished in the top two slots with 140 votes and 67 votes respectively to go on to compete in the General Election on Nov. 3. Behind the two were Adam Hellquist, Laura Fairbanks and Ryan Enger. Hellquist finished third with 32 votes followed by Fairbanks with 27 and Enger with 14.
Incumbent Ward 1 City Council member Michael Meehlhause chose not to seek reelection, as he made a bid for Bemidji mayor. Results from Tuesday's primary showed Meehlhause taking second place in the mayoral primary.
Thayer, 68, is an instructor at Leech Lake Tribal College. Gould, meanwhile, is a 33-year-old teacher at Voyageurs Expeditionary School.
In the race for Ward 3, incumbent Ron Johnson and opponent Greg Kuhn earned 357 votes and 144 votes respectively, finishing ahead of Paul Wiese with 86 votes. As a result, they will now go on to the General Election.
Johnson, 69, is a five-term member of the council and the promotion manager at Lakeland PBS. A 48-year-old, Kuhn is an asset manager at Peterson Sheet Metal.
In the third primary for City Council, with the Ward 5 seat on the line, incumbent Nancy Erickson and Don Heinonen earned 239 votes and 163 votes respectively, coming in front of Ernest Oppegaard-Peltier III with 121 votes. With the win, Erickson and Heinonen move on to November in what will be a rematch of 2016.
Erickson, 73, is a retired accountant who's served 16 years in total on the council. Heinonen, 56, has a background in automotive work and has run for city office in 2014, 2016 and 2018.