We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Incumbent Richard Anderson to face off with Brian Merschman for District 3 seat on Beltrami County Board

In the upcoming election for District 3 for the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners, incumbent Richard Anderson is running against Brian Merschman.

District 3.jpg
District 3 incumbent Richard Anderson is running against challenger Brian Merschman.
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI — All five districts of the Beltrami County Board are up for election in November, and now that the filing period has ended, the list of candidates has been finalized.

In District 3 incumbent Richard Anderson is running against challenger Brian Merschman.

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is a retired educator and has served on the Beltrami County Board since he was first elected in 2011, defeating Scott Winger 1,152-960. His most recent reelection was in 2018 when he ran unopposed.

“I’ve enjoyed representing the people that elect me,” Anderson said. “I always take the time to listen and return the phone calls of people who have needs or questions about county government.”

Richard Anderson.jpg

Anderson has served on a number of committees for the board and has also been involved in the ongoing Beltrami County Jail feasibility study, something he hopes to continue if reelected.


“We’re just getting into it, and I’d like to be on that to make sure we spend the money in a positive and responsible way,” he said.

As a former township officer, Anderson also believes he has an understanding of the needs of smaller local governments.

“I was a township officer for close to 40 years, so I really do understand the needs of the townships,” he added.

Anderson also discussed some of the different accomplishments done by the county board, including changing how the county offers its employees health insurance and improving access to specialized mental health care in Beltrami.

“I like what I’m doing,” he said. “I really believe in county government.”

Brian Merschman

Brian Merschman is a mechanic with Paul Bunyan Transit in Bemidji and has been a member of the Bemidji Township Board for well over a decade.

“I’ve been on the Bemidji Township Board for many years, since 2005 if I remember correctly,” Merschman said. “I’ve been involved a lot with government, and I just wanted to move on a little bit further.”

Brian Merschman.jpg
Brian Merschman

Merschman hopes to bring his experience from the township board and working with organizations like the Headwaters Regional Development Commission to the county board.


“(I want to) be as successful at the county as I have been with Bemidji Township,” Merschman said. “Be involved with planning, and zoning and elections, pretty much everything that I do now.”

More Beltrami County Board election coverage

Nicole Ronchetti is a reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on local government and community health.
What to read next
The Bemidji Parent’s Union is hosting an event for the public to meet Bemidji school board candidates from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 at Hampton Inn and Suites’ Mississippi Room.
The city of Bemidji issued a statement on Thursday afternoon addressing misleading and inaccurate information that is circulating in the community related to Bemidji Fire Chief Justin Sherwood’s employment status with the city.
What was printed on this day 10, 25, 50 and 100 years ago.
Despite not being on the agenda, the topic of displaying the flags of tribal nations in city hall was heavily discussed during the Bemidji City Council’s Monday, Oct. 3 meeting.