The Bemidji City Council set the initial special election date as May 12 to fill the vacancy in Ward 2.
The city’s request for phase 3 of the orderly annexation agreement with Northern Township is still pending with the state. Operating as if the annexation will be approved, newly annexed city residents into Ward 2 will be able to vote in the initial special election, but would not be able to run in it.
According to City Attorney Al Felix, the Census that ends this year will not affect the boundaries in this election, but after the Census is complete, the city will likely need to look at the ward maps and try to make them as evenly populated as possible.
Filing for the Ward 2 seat will begin next week, from Feb. 10 to 24.
If someone wins the initial election with over 50 percent of the vote, the vacancy left by Mike Beard’s sudden resignation would be filled.
A secondary election, if there is no clear winner with more than 50 percent of the vote, would likely take place Aug. 11.