Meet the Candidates: Bemidji City Council Ward 4

The Meet the Candidates series continues with Bemidji City Council candidates vying to represent Ward 4.

A former city official, David Hoefer, is challenging one-term incumbent Emelie Rivera.

The candidates are listed in the order they were interviewed.


David Hoefer is the former chief of the Bemidji Fire Department. Largely retired, he still provides service through his various volunteer efforts and is still fighting fires part-time.

Hoefer’s desire for civic duty is one he’s had for his whole life, and believes his experience as a staff member with the city would bring a lot to the table on the council.

Hoefer hopes to bring more transparency to the city council and fiscal responsibility.


Emelie Rivera won her first election in 2018 as the Bemidji City Council’s Ward 4 representative, and if successful, she would be elected to a second four-year term.

Rivera’s background and education is in social work, and the desire to help those who are often overlooked are what inspired her initial run in 2018.

Among her goals, Rivera wants to continue working to increase and improve local housing stock, especially for affordable housing units.

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