Ron Johnson files for Bemidji’s Ward 1 election

Long-time city councilor Ron Johnson, who will no longer be able to run for Ward 3 on the Bemidji City Council following redistricting, has filed as a candidate for the upcoming Ward 1 election.

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Ron Johnson

BEMIDJI — Long-time city councilor Ron Johnson, who represents Ward 3 on the Bemidji City Council but will not be eligible to run for his current seat again due to redistricting, has filed as a candidate for the upcoming Ward 1 election.

“My residence was recently redistricted out of Ward 3 and I now reside in Ward 1,” Johnson explained, “I’m excited to file for the city of Bemidji Ward 1 special election.”

Johnson, a lifelong resident of Bemidji, has represented Ward 3 on the city council since he was first elected in 2000.

“My years on the council have been extremely rewarding and I believe my leadership has had a positive impact on Bemidji and the surrounding area,” he said.

A 1968 graduate of Bemidji High School and a 1975 graduate of Bemidji State University, Johnson also has degrees from Alexandria Technical College and Brown Institute of Minneapolis. He is a Design and Promotions Manager at Lakeland PBS in Bemidji, a job he has held for the last 43 years.


Johnson believes that his experience on the city council, its committees and as the representative for the city in two statewide organizations make him an excellent choice for a Ward 1 candidate.

“I represent Bemidji on several committees, including the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority, and the Headwaters Regional Development Commission,” Johnson explained, adding that he has been involved with both committees since 2001 and is currently the vice chair and vice president, respectively.

“I also represent Bemidji on two prominent statewide organizations: the League of Minnesota Cities and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities,” he shared.

Both organizations have memberships made up of cities around the state and focus on legislative advocacy. Johnson currently serves as the president of the LMC and has been on the CGMC board of directors since 2005.

Additionally, Johnson is a former adjunct faculty member at BSU and was honored in 2010 as a Bemidji State University Outstanding Alumni.

Johnson also served 10 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard as a member of a local Bemidji unit and received an honorable discharge in 1979.

He has been married to his wife, Carol, for 40 years and has one daughter, Jennifer, who is a music teacher in Aitkin, Minn.

The special election for Ward 1 will be held on Tuesday, April 11, and was called for by the city council after now At-large Councilor Audrey Thayer vacated the seat for her current position. Johnson also ran for the At-large seat in November’s general election but lost to Thayer.


Gwenia Fiskevold Gould is the only other candidate who has filed so far. The filing period for the election opened on Jan. 31 and will run through Feb. 14.

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