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Candidate forums scheduled

The Detroit Lakes Area League of Women Voters and the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce will co-host a series of candidate forums in the weeks prior to the Nov. 6 election.

The four forums will include candidates for State House and Senate seats representing Becker County, the Becker County Commission and the Frazee Vergas School Board.

Carrie Johnston, president of the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, "The Chamber has enjoyed a partnership with the League of Women Voters going back many years. We partner with the League to bring candidates together with voters for a discussion of the issues most affecting our region.

"On Election Day, the voters' decisions affect all aspects of our lives and it is the Chamber's goal to create opportunities for voters to hear directly from the candidates so they can make informed choices."

• Senate District 2 and House District 2B Forum

The forums kick-off on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Frazee Events Center with a Legislative Forum for Senate District 2 candidates Dennis Moser and incumbent Rod Skoe, along with House District 2B, an open seat due to redistricting.

The invited candidates are Steve Green and Brita Sailer. Senate District 2 and House District 2B encompasses all of Becker County except the City of Detroit Lakes and Lakeview, Lake Eunice, Cormorant and part of Detroit townships.

Candidates will respond to questions on a wide variety of issues of concern to voters. Detroit Lakes Area League of Women Voters member Sharon Sinclair will moderate.

• Frazee Vergas School Board

The candidates for the Frazee Vergas School Board will field questions beginning at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, also at the Frazee Events Center.

Candidates Amie Erickson, Mary Lepisto, Tammie Nunn and Don Trieglaff join incumbents Steve Jepson and Dana Laine. The six candidates are running for three seats on the Board.

League member and experienced moderator Helen Foltz will chair this event.

The Frazee Vergas School Board has scheduled a public meeting on the proposed referendum for 7 p.m. in the Vergas Community Center. According to Superintendent Chuck Cheney, that meeting will conclude in time for voters and school officials to return to Frazee for the Candidates Forum.

"There is much at stake for the future of the Frazee Vergas School District in the upcoming election. We encourage voters to attend any of the referendum meetings and the candidate forum to learn more about what lies ahead for the children of our school district," noted Cheney.

More information about the school's referendum meetings can be found on their website at

• Becker County Commission - All Districts

The Becker County Commission candidates will face voters on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Conference Room at M-State in Detroit Lakes.

Candidates Larry Knutson (Dist. 1), Don Skarie (Dist. 4) and Barry Nelson (Dist. 5) are unopposed. District 2 candidates are Ben Grimsley and Craig Fontaine. John Okeson and Gerry Schram are competing for the District 3 spot on the Commission. The candidates will respond to a wide range of questions from voters.

• State District 4 and House District 4B Forum

At 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 a Legislative Forum will begin in the Conference Room at M-State. The candidates for Senate District 4 are Phil Hansen and Kent Eken. Candidates for House District 4B are incumbent Paul Marquart and Paul Sandman.

Due to redistricting, Senate District 4 and House District 4B includes the City of Detroit Lakes, Lakeview, Lake Eunice, Cormorant and part of Detroit Townships. A League of Women Voters trained moderator will chair these two forums.

Format of candidate


The candidates will answer questions from the public during these moderated events, following the non-partisan, unbiased and impartial format established by the League of Women Voters Minnesota.

The purpose of the candidate forums is to give voters an opportunity to hear the candidates discuss the issues of importance to them in this election. Voters want, and need, opportunities to hear directly from candidates and League has a 92-year history of providing voter education.

While some candidates may be unopposed, voters want and deserve the opportunity to ask questions of them and hear the candidates' views on matters affecting our community. All events are free and open to the public.

Voters attending the forum have two opportunities to submit questions to the candidates. Written questions will be accepted throughout the forum. The League also has an email for voters to submit questions in advance. That email address

Please indicate the name of the forum in questions submitted by email. By League of Women Voter policy, the identity of the person asking the question is confidential. Any questions submitted via email will remain confidential with all identifying information removed before the event.

During the forum, candidates will deliver a 2-minute opening statement. Each candidate will have 1-1/2 minutes to answer the questions posed by the moderator.

The Detroit Lakes Area League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to all citizens. Membership information will also be available at the candidate forum.

The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce with its 530 members works to help ensure the economic well-being of the Detroit Lakes Region. The Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce's mission is to advance a vibrant business and tourism economy through service, advocacy, networking and innovation.

For more information, please contact Terry Kalil, voter services chair, Detroit Lakes Area League of Women Voters at 218-341-0452 or at