Coronavirus pandemic causes Grand Forks mayoral candidate to move campaign online

GRAND FORKS — Conversation after conversation, mayoral candidates attempt to communicate their platform with people in Grand Forks. But with many people at home in quarantine or social distancing, traditional methods to connect with voters like door-knocking won't work for candidates.

"What we've needed to do is invent new ways for people to make those connections with people," said mayoral candidate Robin David.

David pointed out that its uncharted territory for people running political campaigns, alike to the experiences of nonprofit professionals and staff at school districts who now have to figure out new ways of communicating with the people they serve.

Other mayoral candidates like Brandon Bochenski said he is planning on taking his campaign online and using mail.

Another mayoral candidate hopeful Art Bakken hasn't been able to collect the 300 signatures needed because he doesn't want any person knocking on doors to obtain the signatures.


"It's made it impossible to get signatures for one thing, because you don't want to put anyone in danger, including yourself," Bakken said.

All of the candidates said they're hoping to be able to hit the campaign trail before the election in June, but for now, discussions online will be the best way to get their messages across.

"We had a very thorough planned developed and it was packed full of meetings and discussions," David said.

There are four candidates in the running for mayor of Grand Forks.

Only two have qualified to be on the ballot.

Grand Forks' current Mayor Michael Brown and candidate Brandon Bochenski both have obtained the 300 signatures necessary to qualify.

Robin David said she has the signatures but hasn't turned them in. The deadline to do so is next Monday.

Art Bakken hasn't been able to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.


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