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  • Candidate Debate 2018

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  • Candidate Profiles

  • Stephen Moeller - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1A Stephen Moeller - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1A

    1. Occupation - Attorney

    2. Hometown - Gilbert, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 8 years.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations?

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I am most passionate about addressing the income inequality that exists between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us as a result of our rigged economy perpetuated by politicians who are beholden to corporations instead of their constituents.  I am passionate about providing tax cuts for actual working Minnesotans, raising their minimum wage and allowing all Minnesotans the opportunity to buy into Minnesota Care. I am passionate about the legalization of marijuana. Finally, I am passionate about fully funding our schools to provide our children the chance to succeed.

  • Debra Kiel - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1B (Incumbent) Debra Kiel - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1B (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - Farmer/Legislator

    2. Hometown - Crookston, MN 

    3. How long have you lived in your district? I was born and raised there (61 years)  

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? In the past I have served on the Crookston School board 7 years, serving as board chair for 2 of those years.  I have served on parenting boards for private and public school.  The Legislative appointed member of the AURI board through the Agriculture committee.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? It is a privilege to serve district 1B, it is my hope to continue representing you.  I have served on various committees Health and Human Policy, Chair of the subcommittee on Aging and Long term care, Agriculture finance, and Transportation.  My passion is serving rural MN whether it is caring for our seniors, vulnerable adults, educating our youth or Agriculture issues.  My responsibilities keep me working in the Aging and Vulnerable adult area which recently has had some serious issues regarding the safety and security of our seniors.  It is a privileged to work on issues caring for our seniors here in Minnesota my goal is to provide a successful way to secure safe choices for our loved ones who are in need of support.

  • David Bach - Pennington County Commissioner District 3 David Bach - Pennington County Commissioner District 3

    1. Occupation - Truckdriver and farmer.

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls

    3. How long have you lived in your district? Since 1968.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I have served on the Numedahl Town Board since 2003.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? Taxes and road maintenance.

  • Steven Narverud - City of TRF Alderman-at-Large (Incumbent) Steven Narverud - City of TRF Alderman-at-Large (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - I graduated from Lincoln and Northland and then received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Moorhead State. After college I worked for The Fountain of Jewels, than managed Narverud Cleaners for 20 years and currently working for Pennington County as a Child Support Officer.

    2. Hometown - I am a lifelong resident of Thief River Falls and have been a homeowner for over 30 years. I’ve been married to Carmen and we have one son, Jon.

    3. How long have you lived in your district? See above.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I have been a member of the board for the TRF Chapter of MN Deer Hunter’s Association for the last 20 years and co-chaired one of the most successful banquets held in the state of Minnesota for the last 15 years. I am also Vice-President of the TRF Trap Club.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate in relation the position you are running for? In my opinion, one of the most important things that we as a city can do for ourselves is having a workable comprehensive plan. We are starting the process of rebuilding our plan this year.

    This will take respect for everyone involved. We need to realize that there are other ideas that can work besides our own; with common sense, and communication, we should be able to come up with solutions that can positively benefit our city.

     A community that makes all of us proud.

    I have enjoyed working on the City Council and would like to continue to work as your alderman-at-large for the next four years.

  • Chris Anderson - City of TRF Ward 3 Chris Anderson - City of TRF Ward 3

    1. Occupation - PDC specialist at Digi-Key and Park Manager for two of our cities manufacturer home parks.

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls

    3. How long have you lived in your district? . I have lived in ward 3 for 3 years.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I have not sat on any boards or been elected to any elected position. No I have not volunteered for any organizations. 

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? One is getting a pool/splash park combination for our town, to try get other businesses to come here like a clothing store, another grocery store. Programs of some sort for kids to do that don't play sports. I just wanna try to make the city thrive and expand to where people wanna move here. One other important thing is to work with the police, sheriff's dept, and the schools on the drug problem this town deals with.

  • Gary Hintz - City of TRF Ward 3 Gary Hintz - City of TRF Ward 3

    1. Occupation - 

    2. Hometown - 

    3. How long have you lived in your district?

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations?

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for?

  • Craig Mattson - TRF School Board Craig Mattson - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - Thief River Falls Police Department, Deputy Chief

    2. Hometown - Eveleth, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 30 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? Pennington County Fair Board, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, TRF Archery Club, Eagles Club, Sons of the American Legion.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? During my 30 years with the Thief River Falls Police Department, I have worked with the Thief River Falls School District as a DARE Officer, the GREAT Program, School Resource Officer, Juvenile Officer and currently as the Deputy Chief.  My positions in law enforcement have given me the opportunity to provide for the safety of the students and staff.  My greatest goal for wanting to become a school board member is to continue and enhance the safety and emergency plans that make our school system safe.

    Due to my many years of working with the school administration, staff and students, I have developed many positive channels of communication and I am familiar with their current policies and procedures.  If elected to the school board, I would work with the other school board members to use these resources to continue the collaboration and teamwork within the school system.  These resources would also be helpful working with our many community partners, such as the city council, to benefit the school district with the funds available. 

  • Carol Schmitz - TRF School Board Carol Schmitz - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - Retired Teacher/Substitute Teacher

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 63 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I served on various curriculum committees for the school district throughout my years in education. I served as a negotiator for the teacher's union during some of my years of employment.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? To say that I am passionate about education may be an understatement! I have been a teacher for over 40 years in Independent School District 564. Now that I am not teaching every day, I miss my involvement with school. It seems like a natural step for me to run for a position on the Ind. School District 564 school board.

    My goal as a school board member is to bring my experience as an educator to the board. Other boards include a doctor on the hospital board, a bank president on a bank board, a clergy on a church board, etc. Why isn't there an educator on the school board? It is time to make a change.

    I am excited to work with a team focused on the school system. My goal is to ask always, "Is this action/goal good for kids?" or "How do students benefit from this?" Kids have been my business most of my life. I plan on keeping the board decisions focused on helping students. Our schools need to be safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. I am pleased that ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) addresses those areas too.

    Fortunately, we have a good school system. However, is "good" enough? I would love to work with the superintendent and the board to make School District 564 the best. We have a tremendous group of ambitious educators and support staff who work with motivated students each day. With the correct supportive environment, our district could be the best. We need to take a close look at class size to bring us into a new realm of "the best!'

  • Ann Ulrich - TRF School Board Ann Ulrich - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - I am married and a stay at home mom with two children who attend school at Challenger.I grew up and attended school in Plummer.  After graduation I went to Mayville State and received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.  Following college I went to work in Fargo for a few years before returning to Northwest MN and have lived in the Thief River falls area for 18 years.  After spending 16 years at Digi-Key, I am now able to stay at home with my children and feel the need to give back to my community.

    2. Hometown - Plummer, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 18 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I currently volunteer at Challenger.  I like the opportunity to help with activities and events that the faculty and staff do not have time for through the year.  It has been enjoyable to interact with the students.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? One of the reasons I am raising my family in TRF is because of the school system.  I want to make sure that our kids get the best education possible. This would include getting the faculty and staff that we need today and in future to ensure the success of our community. I want to make sure the curriculum is challenging and focused on giving our students the advantages that they need for success in the future.  School funding is always a big issue, but I hope to be able to help find solutions that work, and not leave anything or anyone out.  

  • Darin Robson - TRF School Board Darin Robson - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - Owner of The Hive Bar & Grill

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls

    3. How long have you lived in your district? Life long resident of the school district.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? No boards for elected positions.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I believe that every child in the district should have an equal opportunity in regards to their education meanwhile still maintaining fiscal responsibility.  I went through this school district and graduated from Lincoln High School, have had three kids do the exact same.   Currently, I have a step-son enrolled and a daughter who is also a future Prowler...I am very passionate about the future of our programs and our community. 

  • Mike Spears - TRF School Board (Incumbent) Mike Spears - TRF School Board (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - Full-time firefighter for the City of Thief River Falls and business owner at Pennington Fast Lube

    2. Hometown - Cottage Grove, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? I have lived in Thief River Falls since 1979 with my wife Kami. I have four children , three have graduated and one is a sophomore at Lincoln.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I have been on the school board since January 1, 1999. I have volunteered with boy scouts, backcourt club, prowler clay target league and am currently on the  Zion Church Board. 

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I have seen a lot of change and growth in our school district  and have continued passion for the best education for all students with keeping a close watch on taxpayer funds.

  • Ryan Walseth - TRF School Board Ryan Walseth - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - I am the owner of Bergan Travel in Thief River Falls and Crookston.

    2. Hometown - I was born in Thief River Falls and graduated from Lincoln High School.

    3. How long have you lived in your district? I have spent my entire life in Thief River Falls, except for about 10 years. The best thing that I ever did for my family was to move home.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations?  It has been a privilege to serve on numerous community-related boards over the past 10+ years in Thief River Falls. Every board and committee position below is a volunteer position. It is my belief that volunteering and giving back is crucial to self-development, in addition to improving the community that we live in. I was very proud to receive the TRF Volunteer of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

    • Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 6 years- including Chair of the Board
    • Events/Ambassadors Committee Chair- Chamber of Commerce
    • Chair of the TRF Downtown Development Association since inception (currently co-chair)
    • Ex-officio representative on the TRF Convention and Visitors Bureau Board
    • Thief River Falls Airport Advisory Board- Secretary/Treasurer
    • Thief River Falls Day at the Capitol planning committee since inception (about 7 years)
    • Northland Community and Technical College Task Force regarding reinstatement of the Men’s Football program

    Other volunteering.

    • Participant in Lincoln High School Mock interviews
    • Speaking to students at Lincoln High School as a part of their career preparedness
    • Volunteer high school basketball coach for various tournaments

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? If elected to the school board, my focus will be to restore transparency to all aspects of our school district. By eliminating doubt and uncertainty, transparency raises morale, enhances communication, and gives our valuable staff the freedom to do their job efficiently and properly. Through time and demonstrated transparency, I believe that we can earn that trust from district staff, students, parents and taxpayers. At the end of the day, we must remember that we do all of this for the kids. There is nothing more important to the future of our families and our community than our kids. As a father of 3 children in our school district, I am fortunate enough to see this first-hand.

  • Dan Fabian - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1A (Incumbent) Dan Fabian - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1A (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - Retired school teacher and coach, former crop hail adjuster, former golf course pro shop manager. Currently serving as State Representative for District 1A.

    2. Hometown - Roseau, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 42 years.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? Past member and President Messiah Lutheran Church council, Minnesota State High School League Section 8 committee, Roseau Youth Hockey Board, Roseau Lions Club Board, Sunshine Memorial Foundation, Northland Community Technical College Foundation Board

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? standing up for and being NW Minnesota's strong voice in St Paul, improving Minnesota's business climate, healthcare costs and availability,  fiscal responsibility,  getting State Agencies/Departments to be more user/taxpayer friendly and use common sense, letting taxpayers keep more of what they earn, education, roads/bridges, streamlining environmental review and permitting and helping people who are frustrated navigating State government.

  • Brent Lindstrom - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1B Brent Lindstrom - Minnesota House of Representatives District 1B

    1. Occupation - Assembler of transit buses at New Flyer in Crookston

    2. Hometown - Originally from Lake Bronson, MN, settled in East Grand Forks in February of 2004 as I finished the last few years of my Air Force career.

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 13.5 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I was twice elected by the membership to the East Grand Forks Blue Line Club and served 4 years.  During that time I served as Secretary and then as Treasurer.  In 2011, I founded the Grand Cities Lacrosse Association and served as President from inception until 2016 and remain as a board member.  In 2016 I was nominated and selected to serve on the board of directors of the Minnesota Lacrosse Association for one year term.  The Grand Cities Lacrosse Association and the Grand Cities Lacrosse Booster Club made up the bulk of my current active volunteer activities at this time.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I would say the top on is service, that everybody should be involved and run of an office or position to improve their community.  Run for school board, church board, co-op board, PTA, city council, county commissioner, ect.  Personally, I am running as my military career instilled a service before self value and now that I am no longer in uniform, I want to continue to serve and I want to do it as your representative in the Minnesota House.  As a representative, I want to ensure that education is fully funded in a sustainable fashion to ensure that every student in Minnesota receives the same quality education regardless of where they live or their background.  As those students move on to post secondary institutions, they need to have the first two years tuition free at Minnesota universities and technical colleges to include earning vocational certificates.  We need healthcare insurance that is affordable and accessible to everyone and does not exclude those with per-existing conditions.  We need to expand the availability and accessibility of mental health care.  We need safe, strong communities with quality education, healthcare, recreation, arts, strong businesses, quality housing, good paying jobs that not only attract people to live here, but retain those that already live here.

  • Neil Peterson - Pennington County Commissioner District 3 (Incumbent) Neil Peterson - Pennington County Commissioner District 3 (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - Farmer

    2. Hometown - Lifetime resident of rural St. Hilaire

    3. How long have you lived in your district? See above

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? Prior to running for this position I was a supervisor on the River Falls Township Board for 18 years and a member of the St. Hilaire Lions Club.

    Currently I serve as the chair of the Pennington County Board with committee positions on the Minnesota Rural Counties, Pennington County Solid Waste, Pennington County Extension, Pennington County Highway, Pennington County Health and Human Services, Pennington County Emergency Management, and Pennington County Gravel committees, chair of the Pennington County Affordable Housing Fund Advisory Board, and chair of the Pennington County Water Resource Advisory Committee. I also serve as the secretary of the Quinn-County Community Health Board, vice-chair of the Northern County Land Use Coordinating Board, a board member of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources with committee positions on the Buffer and Drainage, Grants and Policies, Wet Lands, and North Region committees, and chair of the Thief River Watershed One Watershed One Plan policy committee. I represent Pennington County on the Association of Minnesota Counties Environment and Natural Resource Policy Committee and represent Minnesota Commissioners on the Local Government Water Roundtable.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? As a farmer and lifelong resident of Pennington County, I understand the opportunities and challenges of what it takes to make a living, raise a family, and plan for retirement in this area.

    I have worked, and would like the opportunity to continue to work, to ensure our county services are maintained and improved in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible, that the voice of our county is heard at the state level, and individual county resident’s concerns are addressed. 

  • Joshua Thompson -City of TRF Alderman-at-Large Joshua Thompson -City of TRF Alderman-at-Large

    1. Occupation - I work as a cabinet maker for a local business.

    2. Hometown - I was born in Ogden Utah. My family moved to Thief River Falls when I was three years old. Many years later we moved to Warroad where I graduated high school and then went on to join the U.S. Navy. After the Navy I attended college at the University of Minnesota for Business management and Information Systems. I had and ran my own business during college.

    3. How long have you lived in your district? I currently have resided in Thief River Falls for the last two years with my wife Sally, our 4 children, and two dogs.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I do volunteer work yearly for religious organizations. 

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? Life wasn't always great as I made some poor choices after college which I learned from. As the late Steve Jobs once said, "If it wasn't for failure, he never would have succeeded." I embraced that and found a strong faith along with a desire for change. One might ask what kind of change and I would say that I once used to say, "I love my country, but I fear my government." Then I thought I could change it.

    In the Preamble to the U.S. constitution it states, " We the people, for the people, by the people..." That means something to me. It's what our founding fathers intended for this country and that the role of government was to be led by the people. Today I feel we have gravely lost sight of that and now the government controls the people. That being said, I am running for office to bring integrity to that preamble. the very core of what made this country a nation.

    I intend to be an advocate for the residents of Pennington County, not the government. To hear and listen to their concerns, and to the best of my ability make sure that their voices are heard so that I can make decisions according to what the majority of our citizens want in order to make living in Pennington county great. My most passionate issues are, Taxes, drug abuse and reform, and the allotment of taxpayer funds. So when we hit the polls this November keep me in mind if you want a candidate to work for you to make this county great.

  • Edward (Ed) Turn - City of TRF Ward 3 Edward (Ed) Turn - City of TRF Ward 3

    1. Occupation - Unity Bank Loan Production Office, Thief River Falls. Education includes Lincoln High School, NCTC, Minnesota School of Banking and Graduate School of Banking.

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls

    3. How long have you lived in your district? September 2004 

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? Past community involvement: Board Member of Warren Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of Roseau Chamber of Commerce, Charter Member Warren Jaycees, Member of Warren Volunteer Ambulance Corp., Chairman of Star City Commission, Member of the Warren/Argyle Economic Development Board, Chairman of Northwest Regional Development Commission Board, Secretary/Manager of Marshall County Fair Board, Warren Pony Booster Club, Chairman of Good Samaritan Nursing Center Advisory Board, Board Member Marshall County Group Home, Past President Warren Lions Club, Secretary Roseau Lions Club, Board Member Roseau Tourism Committee, Advisory Board Member of NW Regional Small Business Development Center, Member of Roseau Flood Recovery Committee, Member of Grace United Methodist Church, and Board Member MN Workforce Center Advisory.

    Current involvement: Board Member Thief River Falls Concert Association, Board Member Thief River Falls Lions Club, TRF Community Branding Task Force member and TRF Downtown Development Association committee member.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? Capitalize on the continued growth of Digi-Key and Textron. Provide affordable housing and adequate child care to meet the working schedules of employees. Enhance downtown shopping. Make Thief River Falls the "hub" of northwest Minnesota.

     

  • Mike Lorenson - City of TRF Ward 3 Mike Lorenson - City of TRF Ward 3

    1. Occupation - Manager within the Information Technology department of Digi-Key 

    2. Hometown - Strathcona, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? I have lived in Ward 3 for over 6 years, and in Thief River Falls over 10 years.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I have sat on a number of boards. Leadership at my local church.  I have volunteered for a number of community events, sing with my family at local senior homes, and I am a volunteer the Digi-key Cares community outreach program. 

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I want to make sure Thief River Falls is a place our next generation wants to call home. 

  • Crystal Keefe - TRF School Board Crystal Keefe - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - Senior Accountant at Benton, Safranski & Co LLP

    2. Hometown - Brandon, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 10 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? No elected boards or positions. I volunteer for the kids school and sporting events.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? Children safety is probably my number one concern

  • Jon Lindgren - TRF School Board (Incumbent) Jon Lindgren - TRF School Board (Incumbent)

    1. Occupation - Welder at Forsberg Inc for 28 years.

    2. Hometown - Salol, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? Almost 30 years.

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? 

    The current committees that I am on are: Career and Technical Education , Community  Education , Crisis Management /Liaison Officer, Early Childhood/ECFE as an alternate, Facilities, Finance, Alternative Learning Center Advisory, Strategic Development and Transportation. I have spent 25 years working at high school hockey games.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? Expanding career and technology classes along with maintaining facilities are areas that we need to work on, along with controlling our budget.

  • Michelle Westerman - TRF School Board Michelle Westerman - TRF School Board

    1. Occupation - Owner of Johnson's Riverside, Inc.

    2. Hometown - Thief River Falls, MN

    3. How long have you lived in your district? 34 years

    4. Do/have you served on any boards or elected positions? Do you actively volunteer for any organizations? I am the current vice president of Johnson’s Riverside, Inc. and lead our organizations community advisory board meetings. I am on the worship commission at my church as well as volunteer with the nursery, Sunday school, and worship teams. At the end of the school year, I joined the PTSP group at Challenger where I am given the opportunity to volunteer with students and staff throughout the year.

    5. What issue(s) are you most passionate about relating to the position you are running for? I grew up in Thief River Falls and had a positive educational experience. The education I received gave me a great platform to succeed in college. I am excited that my four children who are enrolled in the school district, will also be given this opportunity. I am passionate about ensuring all children in this community are given the same excellent educational opportunities I had. 

    I believe that building relationships amongst the school board, administrators, educators, students, parents and the community is crucial for the growth of our district. It is essential to work together in order to strengthen the morale and communication. Our goal should be to make it a place where new and current educators are proud and want to invest their careers/talents long term. These factors will directly benefit the students’ educational experience.