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Mayoral candidates make their pitches to young voters

BEMIDJI--BSU's student senate heard campaign pitches from Bemidji's two candidates for mayor Wednesday. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2940398","attributes":{"alt":"Rita Albrecht","class":"media-image","height":"180","title"...

BEMIDJI-BSU's student senate heard campaign pitches from Bemidji's two candidates for mayor Wednesday.
Incumbent Mayor Rita Albrecht and Richard Lehmann, who held the position himself in the early 2000s, told about 20 student senators their respective visions for the city's future and fielded questions. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2940399","attributes":{"alt":"Richard Lehmann","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Lehmann said one of his top priorities, if elected, would be to get the Sanford Center, which has had some recent personnel shakeups and finance issues, "straightened out." "I think there's been a lot of things making the headlines more and more. I think we really need to address that," he told the senate. "The unfortunate part about it is it's been kind of slipping a little bit." Albrecht highlighted the Bemidji Downtown Alliance's efforts to promote activities and developments downtown, which she characterized as the "heart" of the community. She also stressed the importance of building affordable housing. "We have minimum wage families...and they are having to live in just nasty places with not very good housing and it is a challenge to provide low-income housing," Albrecht said. Lehmann said growth in "cottage industries" in the city could drive long term growth, which he anticipates could continue rapidly for the next 15-20 years. Both candidates characterized Bemidji as a growing regional center. Lehmann opted to run for the state legislature in 2010, losing a close race to Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and giving up his mayor's seat in the process. He told the Pioneer that he'd like to return to the city's government to focus on economic development and capitalize on the Sanford Center. Albrecht was first elected in 2012, and told the Pioneer then that she would continue to work on resolving litigation in which the city is involved and developing a rail corridor downtown.BEMIDJI-BSU's student senate heard campaign pitches from Bemidji's two candidates for mayor Wednesday. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2940398","attributes":{"alt":"Rita Albrecht","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Incumbent Mayor Rita Albrecht and Richard Lehmann, who held the position himself in the early 2000s, told about 20 student senators their respective visions for the city's future and fielded questions.
Lehmann said one of his top priorities, if elected, would be to get the Sanford Center, which has had some recent personnel shakeups and finance issues, "straightened out." "I think there's been a lot of things making the headlines more and more. I think we really need to address that," he told the senate. "The unfortunate part about it is it's been kind of slipping a little bit." Albrecht highlighted the Bemidji Downtown Alliance's efforts to promote activities and developments downtown, which she characterized as the "heart" of the community. She also stressed the importance of building affordable housing. "We have minimum wage families...and they are having to live in just nasty places with not very good housing and it is a challenge to provide low-income housing," Albrecht said. Lehmann said growth in "cottage industries" in the city could drive long term growth, which he anticipates could continue rapidly for the next 15-20 years. Both candidates characterized Bemidji as a growing regional center. Lehmann opted to run for the state legislature in 2010, losing a close race to Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and giving up his mayor's seat in the process. He told the Pioneer that he'd like to return to the city's government to focus on economic development and capitalize on the Sanford Center. Albrecht was first elected in 2012, and told the Pioneer then that she would continue to work on resolving litigation in which the city is involved and developing a rail corridor downtown.BEMIDJI-BSU's student senate heard campaign pitches from Bemidji's two candidates for mayor Wednesday.
Incumbent Mayor Rita Albrecht and Richard Lehmann, who held the position himself in the early 2000s, told about 20 student senators their respective visions for the city's future and fielded questions.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2940399","attributes":{"alt":"Richard Lehmann","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Lehmann said one of his top priorities, if elected, would be to get the Sanford Center, which has had some recent personnel shakeups and finance issues, "straightened out.""I think there's been a lot of things making the headlines more and more. I think we really need to address that," he told the senate. "The unfortunate part about it is it's been kind of slipping a little bit."Albrecht highlighted the Bemidji Downtown Alliance's efforts to promote activities and developments downtown, which she characterized as the "heart" of the community. She also stressed the importance of building affordable housing."We have minimum wage families...and they are having to live in just nasty places with not very good housing and it is a challenge to provide low-income housing," Albrecht said.Lehmann said growth in "cottage industries" in the city could drive long term growth, which he anticipates could continue rapidly for the next 15-20 years. Both candidates characterized Bemidji as a growing regional center.Lehmann opted to run for the state legislature in 2010, losing a close race to Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and giving up his mayor's seat in the process. He told the Pioneer that he'd like to return to the city's government to focus on economic development and capitalize on the Sanford Center.Albrecht was first elected in 2012, and told the Pioneer then that she would continue to work on resolving litigation in which the city is involved and developing a rail corridor downtown.BEMIDJI-BSU's student senate heard campaign pitches from Bemidji's two candidates for mayor Wednesday.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"2940398","attributes":{"alt":"Rita Albrecht","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Incumbent Mayor Rita Albrecht and Richard Lehmann, who held the position himself in the early 2000s, told about 20 student senators their respective visions for the city's future and fielded questions.
Lehmann said one of his top priorities, if elected, would be to get the Sanford Center, which has had some recent personnel shakeups and finance issues, "straightened out.""I think there's been a lot of things making the headlines more and more. I think we really need to address that," he told the senate. "The unfortunate part about it is it's been kind of slipping a little bit."Albrecht highlighted the Bemidji Downtown Alliance's efforts to promote activities and developments downtown, which she characterized as the "heart" of the community. She also stressed the importance of building affordable housing."We have minimum wage families...and they are having to live in just nasty places with not very good housing and it is a challenge to provide low-income housing," Albrecht said.Lehmann said growth in "cottage industries" in the city could drive long term growth, which he anticipates could continue rapidly for the next 15-20 years. Both candidates characterized Bemidji as a growing regional center.Lehmann opted to run for the state legislature in 2010, losing a close race to Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and giving up his mayor's seat in the process. He told the Pioneer that he'd like to return to the city's government to focus on economic development and capitalize on the Sanford Center.Albrecht was first elected in 2012, and told the Pioneer then that she would continue to work on resolving litigation in which the city is involved and developing a rail corridor downtown.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
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