Early totals show close ward races

First-time candidate Miranda Schuler unseated incumbent Scott Knudsvig in Minot’s Ward 5, while incumbent Dave Lehner narrowly held off a challenge by Robert Timm in Ward 1 in Tuesday’s Minot City Council election.

Schuler tallied 170 votes to 150 votes for Knudsvig, according to unofficial totals from Ward County.

Schuler said she hopes to draw energy from Minot residents as she works on the issues that are important to the city.

“The main things I want to work on are flood recovery, flood control and just making sure that everybody has a voice,” she said. “There have been so many people who have quietly supported me, and I appreciate them. I want to do my best for them and for myself and my family and everybody in town.”

Schuler has been a licensed insurance agent since 2007 and works with Bierschbach Farmers Insurance. A resident since 2006 of a neighborhood hit by the 2011, she listed primary focus as flood recovery, managing growth and traffic and maintaining the property tax to fund city needs. She advocated for consulting other cities that have experienced dramatic growth to improve and speed Minot’s handling of growth issues.

A Minot attorney, Knudsvig was first elected to the council in 2006. He has chaired the council’s Public Works and Safety Committee previously served as the chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

Lehner out-polled Timm 154 to 127 in the unofficial total.

Lehner, who works for Clear Channel radio, was first elected in 2002. He campaigned on the need for flood control, both maintaining the existing dike system and building a larger project. He has 33 years of retail management experience and involvement in the community. He has served on a number of city committees and is vice chairman and a past chairman of the Public Works and Safety Committee and chairman of the Community Development Committee.

“I want to continue to serve the ward to the best of my ability and work on flood control efforts,” Lehner said.

Timm is a Realtor and owner of National Marketing Realtors. He has lived in Minot for the past 11 years. He campaigned for change and holding elected leaders accountable. He suggested having an independent firm audit the city and expose any wrongs, inefficiencies and improprieties and also pushed for prioritizing maintenance of existing infrastructure.

New faces on the council will be Benjamin Berg in Ward 2 and Dave Pankow in Ward 6. Running unopposed, Berg unofficially had 158 votes and Pankow 322, with absentees and early votes yet to be counted.

Uncontested incumbents and their unofficial, partial totals were: Ward 3, Dean Frantsvog, 248 votes; Ward 4, Milt Miller, 286 votes; and Ward 7, Lisa Olson, 215.