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Three elected to East Grand Forks council in close race

The race for three available seats on the East Grand Forks City Council was close Tuesday, with an only 13-vote difference for two candidates for an at-large seat.

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Marc DeMers

The race for three available seats on the East Grand Forks City Council was close Tuesday, with an only 13-vote difference for two candidates for an at-large seat.

Dale Helms will represent Ward 2, Tim Johnson will represent Ward 4, and unofficial results from all five precincts show incumbent Marc DeMers will keep his at-large seat.

DeMers led with 38.20 percent of the vote Tuesday night, while challenger Brian Larson had 37.73 percent. Third candidate Mary Ann Laxon came in last with 23.81 percent.

Though in current results Larson could qualify for a publicly funded recount, he said he would not file for one Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't think that's a responsible use of local government funds," he said, adding he'd like to congratulate DeMers.

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DeMers has sat on the council as an at-large member since 2015. In that time he said he has focused on fiscal responsibility and strengthening relationships with state officials.

“I’ve been a big proponent throughout my tenure in the City Council of increasing transparency, with one of the goals being increased participation,” DeMers said Wednesday. He added that led to a more competitive race for his seat.

“But I’m glad there was some competition, and I’m glad there was a lot of turnout,” he said. “It’s good for East Grand Forks. And, hopefully, that’s predictive of more participation going forward.”

Helms was the only candidate who ran for Ward 2 this year. He was appointed to represent that ward for most of 2014, before current council member Mike Pokrzywinski replaced him that November. He had run in six elections for Ward 2 before then.

Johnson received 68.1 percent of the vote over Stuart Minske, who received 29.04 percent.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2018
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