A former Grand Forks City Council member is considering a run for mayor.
Arthur Bakken, who represented Grand Forks’ Ward 6 until 2010, plans to decide whether he’ll start campaigning or collecting the signatures necessary for his candidacy once he gets a better sense of the “direction” the city’s three existing candidates plan to take it, he told the Herald on Wednesday.
“I think the city is becoming a bedroom community for Fargo, and I don’t think that’s what we want to be,” Bakken said. “Everybody’s going to have to do their shopping in Fargo, and they’re going to have to do all their buying in Fargo, and anything you want’s going to be in Fargo because we’re chasing it all out of town."
Bakken, 74, who was first voted onto the City Council in 1996 and owns the trucking firm Pro Transport and Leasing Inc., stressed that his candidacy is “more of a thought than anything right now” -- but he, nonetheless, picked up from Grand Forks City Hall the paperwork all mayoral candidates need to complete to get their names onto June ballots.
Elsewhere in town, Meggen Sande, a real estate agent on the Grand Forks Planning and Zoning Commission and wife of City Council President Dana Sande, told the Herald earlier this week that she considered running for mayor but decided against it.
"I was thinking about it, but I won't be running," Meggen Sande said. "I tell you what, if I change my mind, I'll let you know."
She did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
If Bakken throws his hat into the ring, he’d join a field of at least three other hopefuls, including incumbent Mayor Mike Brown, a now-retired Altru doctor who said, in January, he plans to run for an unprecedented sixth term at the helm of the city’s government.
Later that month, developer and former University of North Dakota hockey star Brandon Bochenski declared his candidacy. And, on Feb. 1, Robin David, a former UND administrator who leads Grand Forks’ “GF Welcomes” program, announced the same.
The deadline for candidates to file with the city is 4 p.m. April 6. They’re required to collect 300 legible and verifiable signatures.
Mayoral and City Council elections are scheduled for June 9.