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Three have filed for Willmar School Board; filing open through Aug. 16

Three people, including one incumbent, have filed to run for Willmar School Board this fall. Filing will close at 4 p.m. Aug. 16. There will be no primary in the race, and all candidates who file will participate in the general election.

A file photo of the Willmar Public Schools sign at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, where the administration offices are located.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — Three candidates have filed to run for Willmar School Board since the filing period started a week ago.

Three board members will be chosen in the Nov. 8 general election. Candidates have until 4 p.m. Aug. 16 to file.

Candidates may file during business hours at the district office on the second floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. SW. The filing fee is $2.

Jay Lawton, 64, of Willmar, an incumbent whose current term will expire at the end of the year, has filed for re-election. He said he has enjoyed serving on the board and hopes to provide consistency.

“There's very important things that are coming up in the near future, and the School Board will need to make some relatively difficult calls,” he said.


Steve Biesterfeld, 48, of Willmar, filed Monday. He is a shift supervisor at Prairie Lakes Youth Programs. He said he is running because he feels the young people he sees at Prairie Lakes have been failed by the school system or their families.

“I wanted to help, to see what’s going on ... and see if there’s some input I could have that would help them,” he said.

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Laura Weatherby also has filed for office but couldn’t be reached before the deadline for this story.

The terms of board members Mary Amon and Randy Frederickson will also expire at the end of the year.

Amon was first elected in a special election in 2017 and elected to a full term in 2018. Lawton was first elected in 2018. Frederickson was elected in a special election in 2021.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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