Voters have plenty to consider for Election 2018.

And we’re not only referring to the state and national-level elections.

The fullest ballot in a decade or more will face voters in West Otter Tail County when they go to the polls November 6–in terms of local and area elected offices.

Thankfully, an informal coalition of volunteers have organized an election forum for Wednesday night, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Fine Arts Auditorium to offer a glimpse at the local and area candidates.

With six running for school board, and seven running for city seats–we encourage all area residents to attend.

To top it off, we have a spirited race for county board and sheriff.

Running for the District 2 County Board seat–which covers West Otter Tail and most of the Pelican Rapids area, are Wayne Johnson and Jeff Gontarek–who are both profiled in this week’s edition.

Barry Fitzgibbons and Kile Bergren are running for the open sheriff’s seat, and it appears both of them will be at the Oct. 10 forum. The sheriff candidates are the final portion of the forum, slated at about 8:50 p.m. Every resident in the county has a vote for sheriff, so this will be a great opportunity to see and hear both candidates.

We commend volunteers Ben Sytsma and Cary Haugrud for stepping forward to organize the forum. Community Education’s Haugrud, a Pelican school faculty member, is also coordinating a team of students to video the forum for re-broadcast.

Also, our thanks to Jerry Ness for moderating the forum. Ness will be retiring after this year from the Fergus Falls school district, but he and his wife Karen live on Lake Lida. and have had a family cabin there since 1959. His connections to the Pelican area run deep. His father, Ernie, was the elevator manager at Lawndale for 20 years.

“My mother was a Hovland so all the Ness’, Hovlands, Moens, Bakkens, Tweetons, Lividahls, Sather…are my relatives,” noted Ness.

This week is also “National Newspaper Week” and it is appropriate timing, as your local community newspaper will be doing its best to inform voters on these important local and area elections.

The local ballot is so full, that we are focusing mainly on local races–rather than the statewide govenor, U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress races.

The Pelican Rapids Press also has a special location on the newspaper website, Election Central” with free information and advertisements from candidates.

This week, the Press profiles Pelican city and mayor candidates.

Next week, the Oct. 17 edition, will offer a glimpse at the six school board candidates.

Here’s a look at the local elections:

Pelican Rapids School Board
Charlie Blixt
Brittany Dokken
Dena Johnson
Jessica Fahje
Greg Larson
Brenda Olson

Pelican Rapids City Mayor
Brent Frazier
Steven Foster

Pelican Rapids City Council
Dawn Finn
Curt Markgraf
Juan Carlos Murillo
Steve Strand
John Waller III

Otter Tail County board
Jeff Gontarek
Wayne Johnson

Otter Tail Sheriff
Kile Bergren
Barry Fitzgibbons

Voters can check the Pelican Rapids Press “Election Central” site on the newspaper website.

The Press Election Central site includes voter information, candidate profiles, candidate ads and frequently updated information leading up to the November 6 election.