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Helmut Schmidt, Published February 17 2010

Williams running for state office

Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams said Tuesday that he will run for state office.

Williams said he will seek either a Senate or House seat representing District 11. He said he is leaning toward the House.

“It’s going to be in a nonpartisan manner. It won’t be going through the district conventions,” Williams said.

He said he will remain a city commissioner if he is elected to the Legislature.

District 11, in south Fargo, is represented by Sen. Tim Mathern, and Reps. Mary Ekstrom and Scot Kelsh, all Democrats.

He will make the announcement official in a news conference today at the Fargo Theatre’s second screen.

Williams said the Legislature offers opportunities to take on issues of public safety, promote alternative energy and energy conservation. He also wants to encourage water management, retention and conservation.

“Fargo has helped lead the way in North Dakota, demonstrating that conservation saves and pays. I will work to help our state develop more of our resources in a clean, efficient, and sustainable manner,” said Williams, who was re-elected to his second term as city commissioner in June 2008.

He said he likes using a nonpartisan approach on the City Commission, and “there’s opportunities to do more of that in the state Legislature.

“Think of the flood last year; no one was asking which party they supported,” Williams said.

He said he has an in-depth perspective on the problems facing the state’s cities, and as a board member for the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy, has developed strong relationships around the state.

“Fargo and North Dakota are currently in a strong financial situation, but we have to make decisions on how to best invest our resources towards the highest priorities and to make the most efficient use of current public assets and existing infrastructure and buildings,” Williams said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583