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Filings open for local elections

FAIRMONT — Filings open Tuesday for three Fairmont City Council seats, three seats on the Fairmont Area School Board and one seat on the Martin County commissioners. The city and school board positions are all four-year terms, but the county slot, formerly held by the late Tom Mahoney, runs until Dec. 31, 2022.

Filings for all races close on Aug. 11.

Candidates for any of the positions must meet certain state requirements. They must be eligible to vote in Minnesota and be 21 years of age or older upon assuming office. They must not have filed for another office at the upcoming primary or general election. They must have lived in their city ward, school district or county for at least 30 days before the Nov. 3 general election.

The city council openings include Ward 2, currently held by Ruth Cyphers; Ward 4, currently held by Wayne Hasek; and at large which encompasses the entire city, currently held by Tom Hawkins.

Ward and precinct maps for the city council are available at www.fairmont.org under the “Citizens” drop down menu.

Filing for city council must be completed at the city clerk’s office on the second floor of Fairmont City Hall. Candidates must pay a $5 filing fee and fill out an affidavit of candidacy. The city clerk’s office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, but procrastinators will have until 5 p.m. on the last day, Aug. 11, to file.

There is no primary for council races. All who file will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Fairmont Area School Board seats on the ballot are currently held by Dan Brookens, Nicole Green and Julie Laue.

The filing fee for school board candidates is only $2, and filing can be completed in the superintendent’s office in Fairmont Elementary School. The office hours are 7:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Candidates for school board can live anywhere in the school district. There are no wards or precincts that govern eligibility.

Like the city council races, there will be no primary election. All who file will be on the Nov. 3 ballot with the top three vote getters earning a board spot.

At the county level, some races already have been set after filing for commissioners’ seats ended June 2, but the recent death of Tom Mahoney resulted in an open slot for the District 2 representative.

District 2 includes Ward 2, Precinct 2 and all of Ward 3 in the city of Fairmont.

State law requires a primary election be held on uniform election dates in February, March, April May, August or November if more than two candidates file for a commissioner’s seat. Because Nov. 3 is one of the uniform dates, the primary runoff will be on the general election ballot if there are more than two candidates.

A special election to determine a winner will take place on Feb. 9, 2021.

Candidates can file and pay a $50 filing fee at the auditor/treasurer’s office in the Martin County courthouse. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Incumbent commissioners Kathy Smith, District 3, and Steve Flohrs, District 5, will face no challengers in the Nov. 3 election. District 3 includes all of Ward 1 and Ward 2, Precinct 1 in the city of Fairmont. District 5 includes the townships of Cedar, Galena, Waverly, Elm Creek, Fox Lake, Fraser and Rutland.

Incumbent Elliot Belgard will face challenger Brad Buhmann for the District 1 commissioner’s seat. This district includes the city of Truman and the townships of Westford, Nashville, Center Creek, Pleasant Prairie, Fairmont and East Chain.

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