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Wendy Reuer, Published March 25 2014

Mattern unopposed so far for fourth term as West Fargo mayor

WEST FARGO – Rich Mattern, the mayor here for more than a decade, will seek a fourth term in the June 10 election.

Three people have filed so far for two City Commission seats up for election that are now occupied by Duane Hanson and Mark Wentz.

Newcomer Brad Olson has filed for one of the City Commission seats, City Administrator Jim Brownlee said. Hanson has filed for re-election. Wentz said he will likely file for re-election by the end of this week.

As the April 7 deadline to file approaches, Mattern is so far unchallenged.

In the past three elections, Mattern was challenged once. He beat current City Commissioner Mike Thorstad by 256 votes in 2010.

Mattern said he is seeking a fourth term because he wants to see some of the projects he has helped bring forward all the way to the finish.

“We’re doing well, but I want to see us continue to do well,” Mattern said. “I’d like to be there as we work through the new police department and Main Avenue.”

The mayor and city commissioners serve four-year terms.

Wentz was appointed to fill former Commissioner Lou Bennett’s seat in 2012 when Bennett moved out of state.

Hanson was elected to his first term in 2010 after serving for 11 years on the West Fargo School Board.

Three Park Board seats and one municipal judgeship are also open for election.

Municipal Judge Susan Baily has filed for re-election.

No one has filed for the four-year Park Board terms held by Chairwoman Sharon Odegaard, Denise Johnson and Jeff McCracken.

Candidates must get 300 valid signatures on a petition for candidacy to run for the City Commission and Park Board. Petitions must be filed no later than 4 p.m. April 7 at West Fargo City Hall.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530