MEET THE CANDIDATES: Bemidji City Council At-Large

The Meet the Candidates series continues ahead of the Tuesday, Aug. 9 primary with candidates vying for the Bemidji City Council at-large seat.

Incumbent Dan Jourdain is being challenged by two other sitting council members, Ward 1’s Audrey Thayer and Ward 3’s Ron Johnson.

The candidates are listed in the order in which they were interviewed. Repeated attempts to schedule with a fourth candidate were unsuccessful.


Dan Jourdain was elected to the at-large seat in a special election in 2021. Jourdain advanced in the primary that coincided with the 2020 election and secured the seat early in 2021.

Jourdain, 36, is a Red Lake Band member, and says he wants to improve relationships and narratives between the various groups of people in Bemidji.


Ron Johnson has been serving on the Bemidji City Council since the early 2000s in Ward 3. After the redistricting process earlier this year drew him out of the ward, he says his decision to run is to keep continuity on the council.

Johnson says his experience, plus his lobbying background with groups such as the League of Minnesota Cities and Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, can ensure stability on the council in the years to come.


Audrey Thayer has served on the Bemidji City Council since a narrow victory in the 2020 general election for Ward 1. Thayer, a White Earth band member, says she wants to continue her work on her 2020 campaign promises, such as making Bemidji a more sustainable city.

Thayer has 20 years of experience with the homeless community and wants to empower families across the city, and wants to bring the community together to address some of Bemidji’s big city issues.



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