Mayor, council races remain uncontested in East Grand Forks
If no more candidate filings are submitted for East Grand Forks mayor and City Council races, this election cycle could be a quiet one for the city. More than a week into the filing period, the races for the mayor's office and each of the council...
If no more candidate filings are submitted for East Grand Forks mayor and City Council races, this election cycle could be a quiet one for the city.
More than a week into the filing period, the races for the mayor's office and each of the council seats are uncontested.
Candidates filed for the seats within the first few days of the period opening, and no new filings have come in since.
Steve Gander is the lone mayoral candidate, as Mayor Lynn Stauss has said he is not seeking re-election. Stauss will have served as mayor for 21 years when his term is up, longer than any mayor in East Grand Forks.
Each of the four council races has one candidate, three of which are incumbents. Council President Mark Olstad, Council Vice President Chad Grassel and council member Clarence Vetter are all looking to secure another term.
Newcomer Tim Riopelle has filed for Ward 3, where longtime council member Craig Buckalew has declined to run again.
Uncontested races are nothing new to the city. Over the past 10 years, at least 10 council and mayor races have seen only one candidate, according to election data from the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.
Four of the council's seven members won their most recent term after facing no opponents. All those races gathered a small number of write-ins, but the candidate secured an overwhelming majority of the vote.
In 2014, council member Henry Tweten's race marked the only uncontested one of the year, while elections in 2012, 2010 and 2007 saw three or more such races. Buckalew, Olstad and Vetter had no opponents in the 2012 election.
The candidate filing period is open until Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. Affidavits can be filled out at East Grand Forks City Hall in the administration office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a $2 filing fee.