Barney wins race for mayor

Chuck Barney won the race to be mayor of Minot, according to the preliminary results tallied Tuesday night.

Results showed Barney polling 1,327 votes, or 56 percent. There were 1,033 votes cast for write-in candidates. Kevin Mehrer ran a late but serious write-in effort, although a breakdown of the write-in ballots wasn’t known on election night.

Barney, who served 12 years on the council before stepping down in 2006, said he is looking forward to taking on the role of mayor.

“Obviously, we have some challenges in front of us. I am looking forward to addressing those challenges,” he said.

Mehrer said he was humbled and excited to know that a sizable percentage of the voters appeared to support his candidacy.

“I think that throwing together this campaign even so late in the game shows that the people in Minot still want change and the issues are pertinent in their minds,” he said. “Minot is a great city. I want to see it the best it can be. I think Chuck feels the same way. I hope so.”

Mehrer said he hopes to see Barney follow up on the issues that were raised in the campaign, adding that he plans to visit with the new mayor about getting involved in that process, too.

“I want to make an impact. I think that this shows that people responded to my leadership. They responded to a new vision, a fresh vision, and I don’t think that’s going away. I obviously want to be involved as much as I can,” he said.

Barney had announced his candidacy last September to replace retiring mayor Curt Zimbelman. His campaign pledge was to develop better relationships with schools, parks and the county to increase efficiencies and economies of scale. Maintaining quality of life and affordable taxes were among his priorities.

Barney is director of the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy at Minot State University. Barney served two terms as president of the city council and has served on various boards, including president of the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau, treasurer of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and district chairman of the Northern Lights Council of the Boys Scouts of America. He owns Souris Valley Apartments.

Mehrer, a 2010 graduate of Minot State University, is senior district executive for the Northern Lights Council of the Boy Scouts.