Williston Mayoral Candidates - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Williston Mayoral Candidates

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Tuesday is election day in North Dakota.

It's a primary election - where statewide and county-wide candidates hope to win spots on the general election ballot in November.

But it's a decisive election for local candidates - for positions such as mayor and school board member.

In Williston, a new mayor will be selected to replace Ward Koeser - who has been mayor for 20 years.

Affordable housing, retail and funding from the state are top priorities for Howard Klug.

Klug has served as city commissioner for six years.

He says funding formulas have improved from 11 to 25 percent of oil revenue returning to Williston, but communication with state leaders will be important to ensure Williston continues to get the funding needed.

(Howard Klug, Candidate for Williston Mayor) "Whether you like the oil boom or your don't like the oil boom, there are good things coming and with the positive attitude, positive commission we can get things done for all the people of Williston."

If you solve the housing issue, in turn it will solve the public workforce shortage.

That's the approach from Marcus Jundt.

As a long time business man, he heard the concerns of his own employees and hopes to address the housing shortage through city zoning techniques and developer relationships.

(Marcus Jundt, Candidate for Williston Mayor) "We have 32,000 trucks coming through our city every day. We have the most expensive housing in America. We have a police, fire, teacher shortage. These are all serious issues that need to be addressed."

Affordable FAMILY housing is top priority for Jim Purkey.

He says a number of the middle class live just above the low income threshold, causing problems for families moving to the area.

Purkey also has concerns about quick rent changes being made at mobile home parks.

He would like to see more in-state developers and lower rent prices so that money stays local.

(Jim Purkey, Candidate for Williston Mayor) "It's economic welfare. If you're spending all your paycheck on your rent, you aren't spending it at local businesses, you're not giving to the economy."

Polls in Williston are open from 8am to 7pm on Tuesday.

In Minot, there's also an opening for mayor with the retirement of Curt Zimbelman.

Chuck Barney is the only candidate with is name on the ballot for mayor, although Kevin Mehrer has mounted a write-in campaign.

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