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Erik Burgess, Published August 19 2013

Moorhead city attorney: Bohmer can run for 3rd Ward council seat

MOORHEAD – A former city councilman will be allowed to run in November’s council election even though his new home establishing residency is not yet built.

Dan Bohmer, who was a 1st Ward councilman from 2005 to 2009, signed an affidavit of candidacy stating he intends to be a resident in the 3rd Ward at least 30 days before the Nov. 5 election, as required by law, according to City Attorney John Shockley.

Bohmer said he bought the land at 3510 Riverview Circle a few months ago and expected to move in by August, but the construction schedule has lagged.

Bohmer filed for the 3rd Ward council seat last week before the filing deadline, but questions were raised about his residency.

Shockley said the statute governing this issue is “very vague.” It states that the person running for office must be “making” their home within the ward, which he said Bohmer appears to be doing at this time.

The unconstructed home is Bohmer’s permanent address on his driver’s license and his mail is being delivered there, Shockley said.

“It’s pretty clear that he intends to have a residence within the ward that he’s running in,” he said.

Moorhead’s 3rd Ward encompasses the city’s south side along the Red River.

Bohmer said he doesn’t know if his home will be completed by Oct. 5, which is 30 days before the election, but he will be living in the ward by that date, either in his new house or somewhere else. He, his wife and their children now live with friends and relatives.

Bohmer said Shockley told him that as long as the house is “substantially complete” by Oct. 5, then it would “meet the intent” of the law. Bohmer said he would be in contact with the city attorney as that October date gets closer.

“It’s something that we’ll obviously keep an eye on, as with any candidate,” Shockley said.

Also running for the 3rd Ward council seat is incumbent Brenda Elmer and challenger Julian Dahlquist.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518