Local candidate filings on first day of Minnesota’s filing

Several filed for Bemidji City Council positions during the first filing day.

According to City Clerk Michelle Miller, Jorge Prince and Michael Meehlhause filed for mayor; Joe Gould filed for Ward 1; Ron Johnson, Paul Wiese, and Greg Kuhn filed for Ward 3; and Don Heinonen filed for Ward 5.

The mayor serves a two-year term, while the rest of council serves four-year terms.

Gould, according to a release, is a 2010 Bemidji State University graduate and a teacher at Voyageurs School. He currently serves on the Bemidji Area Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors.

Meehlhause announced his candidacy Monday morning.

Beltrami County Commissioner Reed Olson also filed for re-election of district 2. County Commissioners serve four-year terms.

Olson, according to a release, is running for a second time to represent District 2, which includes the city of Bemidji. Olson is a local business owner and executive director of the Wolfe, a local homeless shelter.

In addition to Olson’s seat, District 4 and District 5’s commissioner seats are up for reelection. Jim Lucachick is currently the District 5 commissioner, and Tim Sumner is District 4’s.

Current Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht announced she had filed for the Senate District 5 seat, after recently becoming the DFL-nominated candidate.

District 5 represents the Grand Rapids, Walker, Cass Lake and Bemidji in the Minnesota Senate.

“I’m ready to put my many years of experience working on behalf of rural communities to work in St. Paul,” said Albrecht in a release.

Albrecht was first elected Mayor of Bemidji in 2012.

Candidates for Bemidji City Council will need to file with City Hall staff. Other elected officer positions will need to be filed for at the Beltrami County Auditor Treasurer’s Office.

Filing is underway until Tuesday, June 2 at 5 p.m.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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