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Joseph Neft looks to unseat incumbent Tim Sumner from Beltrami County District 4 position

Two candidates are running to represent District 4 on the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners: incumbent Tim Sumner and Joseph Neft.

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In District 4 incumbent Tim Sumner is running against Joseph Neft.
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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 4 incumbent Tim Sumner will run against Joseph Neft.

Tim Sumner

Tim Sumner was first elected to the Beltrami County Board in 2012 and won his third term in 2020 after defeating challenger Danny Anderson 2,588 votes to 1,270.

Sumner is a case manager at the Red Lake Homeless Shelter and studied at Northwest Technical College.

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Tim Sumner

“I love what I do working on the county board, I’ve always had that passion to want to help,” Sumner said. “Even after 10 years I still enjoy what I’m doing, meeting the people, working hard for my constituents.”


Sumner is seeking reelection in part to continue his work on the board’s many ongoing projects.

“I’m running to see that a lot of these projects we’re currently working on are finished and followed through,” Sumner said.

These projects include efforts to repair roads, improve mental health services, and decide the future of the county jail.

“These issues are important,” Sumner said. “I believe at the end of the day, whether I win or lose, it’s important that we see every issue and see how we can move the county forward.”

Joseph Neft

Joseph Neft is a farmer and trucker from Shooks Township and has been a lifelong Beltrami County resident. Neft is also a member of the Shooks Township Board.

“We’re starting to get a lot of growling on taxes and property taxes,” Neft said. “It looks like we’ve got to do something to get a handle on where all this money is going to.”

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Joseph Neft

Neft hopes to take a look at the county budget and examine where the money is spent and how to do it more efficiently and effectively.

“Sometimes you have to take a look at the big picture,” Neft said, “look at what the costs are, what are we doing here that’s costing so much money?”


Neft is also interested in serving on the county board in the interest of his grandchildren’s and the younger generations’ future.

“I’m starting to get a little concerned about my grandchildren’s future,” Neft said. “So maybe it’s time to step up to the plate and take a little more interest in what’s going on and see if we can’t make a difference.”

More Beltrami County Board election coverage

Nicole Ronchetti is a reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on local government and community health.
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