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Published June 05 2012

Bluestem exec files to run as a Democrat for Moorhead House seat

MOORHEAD – Sue Wiger, executive director of the Bluestem Center for the Arts here, announced plans Tuesday to run as a Democrat for the District 4A House seat that represents Moorhead in the state Legislature.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, a Republican, said last week he doesn’t plan to run for re-election.

Wiger has served as executive director at Bluestem since January 2011 and will run against Ben Lien for the DFL endorsement heading into the Aug. 14 primary.

Bluestem has made headlines lately for the inability of its fundraisers to raise enough money to pay for the facility’s debts, including payments on $2.1 million in bond debt and a $2.7 million loan from the Fargo School District.

Those debts were accrued in the final stages of building the $15 million Bluestem Center.

Despite that, Wiger said she has no concerns about how the debt problems could affect her candidacy, adding that she believes the public has noticed the changes she’s brought to the arts center.

“I think those that were out enjoying this facility last summer saw some differences,” she said.

Wiger said she’s running in part because she’s concerned about the lack of economic growth and development in the city, and because she wants to continue to support the school system as a part of Moorhead’s long-term growth.

Wiger served as executive assistant and marketing events coordinator at The Forum from 1999-2007.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535