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Published October 16 2010

Veteran faces unknown in Clay County District 3 race

One of the few contested races in county government this November is between veteran Clay County Commissioner Jon Evert and an unknown who has run a fairly low-key campaign.

Challenger Ron Ekre, a Hawley, Minn., resident, says he hasn’t done much door-to-door campaigning for the seat representing District 3, which encompasses much of southern Clay County.

“People are always complaining out here that we don’t have any representation,” Ekre said. “I couldn’t find anyone else to run, so I put my name down. It’s a public service-type thing.”

Ekre and incumbent Evert, who has sat on the board for 16 years, do seem to agree on an issue that has plagued many local boards of government: determining which local services to eliminate or keep in the wake of state budget cuts.

“With the state cutting all that money, we have to decide who is going to get theirs,” Ekre said.

“Determining which programs to cut is one of the most difficult responsibilities of the commission,” Evert wrote in The Forum’s online Voter Guide. “Many of the non-mandated and non-essential programs fall into the realm of being quality-of-life issues. These are often the most popular programs among the citizens.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525