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Meet the candidates: Ward County Commissioners race

Five candidates are vying for three seats on the Ward County Commission. (I) indicates an incumbent.
Five candidates are vying for three seats on the Ward County Commission. (I) indicates an incumbent.(KFYR-TV)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 8:34 PM CDT
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WARD COUNTY, N.D. (KMOT) – The race is underway for Ward County Commissioners.

There are a total of five candidates, including one new comer and a candidate who has served on the commission in the past, but we start with incumbent Jim Rostad.

Rostad has served on the Commission for the past four years.

In that time he said he is proud of the way the board has hired and maintained Ward County staff, as well as the half cent tax which helped pay for Ward county buildings including the Ward County Jail which was rapidly running out of space.

If re-elected Rostad said he would like to get to work on a road improvement project.

“Farm machinery and the oil machinery everything has gotten a lot heavier, and our roads aren’t built for that kind of thing so I’m looking forward to being involved in that,” said Rostad.

Rostad has also served on the Minot Public School Board for 20 years, as well as the state school board.

Next we have a newcomer Howard “Bucky” Anderson.

Anderson has spent his life working in education and agriculture.

He has worked as a teacher in Minot for more than 24 years.

He also sits on the board of Verendrye Electric.

Anderson said while he is pleased with the progress the board has made with personnel, he chose to run to help address some of the infrastructure issues in the county, as well as bridge the gap between the needs of the rural and city residents.

“There is a little bit of a disconnect between what rural people think and what city people think, and I think it helps the more representation you have. I fondly consider myself an intermediary,” said Anderson.

Anderson said he also wants to tackle the issue of property rights.

Incumbent Shelly Weppler is also running for re-election.

Weppler has served on the board since 2012.

She said one of her proudest achievements is helping the county recover after the 2011 flood.

During that time the Ward County Administration Building was built and the court house was renovated.

Weppler said now she wants to stay on the commission to see through a salary study and comprehensive plan that will address a number of issues in the county.

“We instituted into the budget dollars so that we can complete a comprehensive plan, and I want to make sure to see through that review and see the implementation which includes bridge replacement,” said Weppler.

Before joining the commission Weppler served in the United States Army.

She also worked in the banking industry for 20 years.

There is one more incumbent candidate, Alan Walter.

Walter has served as a county commissioner for eight years.

Before that he was the Director of Public Works for the city of Minot for 20 years.

He said he was pleased to be able to help the county secure the Halliburton facility for the Ward County Highway Department this year.

If re-elected he said he will continue to help the county maintain a responsible budget as and begin road improvements.

“We got the sales tax extended for the county to start building the road project program for the county to make it better for the farmers and for the citizens,” said Walter.

And there is another familiar face running for a seat on the board, former Commissioner Larry Louser.

Louser held a seat from 2012 to 2016.

During that time he said he served as the chairman of a study group that suggested and implemented a number of improvements.

Now Louser said he wants to return to the commission in order to help the county make strides in fixing roads and infrastructure.

“I am very interested and concerned about our infrastructure in our county because many of the roads and bridges that were built in our county were built in the late 40s and 50s,” said Louser.

He also served in the U.S. Navy.

County Commissioners serve four-year terms.

For more information on all your options to vote, visit the Ward County website: https://www.co.ward.nd.us/35/Departments

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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