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Dave Olson, Published June 12 2012

Incumbents hold on in West Fargo City Commission race

WEST FARGO – Two incumbents were re-elected to the West Fargo City Commission Tuesday night.

Complete but unofficial returns late Tuesday showed incumbent Mike Thorstad with 48 percent of the vote while fellow incumbent Mark Simmons had 39 percent of the vote.

Challenger Peter Karl had 13 percent.

During his campaign, Karl leveled harsh criticism at Simmons, Thorstad and other city officials.

He accused them of irresponsible leadership and of wishing harm on West Fargo residents.

Karl also proposed making West Fargo’s volunteer fire department a full-time operation, and advocated a mass transit system.

Simmons and Thorstad campaigned on their accomplishments, which they said included expanding city infrastructure to accommodate rapid growth in West Fargo.

They also cited businesses that have moved to, or expanded in the city, including Monsanto, Caterpillar and Costco.

Vote totals showed Thorstad with 3,422 votes.

Simmons had 2,732 votes and Karl had 915 votes.

Simmons earned a third term in Tuesday’s election.

Thorstad won a second term.

Commissioners are elected to four-year terms.

They receive a salary of $7,575.

The winners in Tuesday’s election take office in July.