ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Willmar City Council to have new faces after November election

WILLMAR -- There are contested races in three of the four city wards, and come January there will be new faces on the Willmar City Council representing those wards as the incumbents did not file for re-election. Linda Kacher and Kathy Schwantes h...

2571054+candidates.jpg

WILLMAR - There are contested races in three of the four city wards, and come January there will be new faces on the Willmar City Council representing those wards as the incumbents did not file for re-election.
Linda Kacher and Kathy Schwantes have filed for the open seat in Ward 1.
The seat is currently held by Councilman Denis Anderson, who announced earlier that he would not run again. Ward 1 is the north portion of Willmar, generally north of U.S. Highway 12.
The two candidates for the Ward 2 seat are Julie Asmus and Steve Peppin. They are campaigning to replace Councilman Tim Johnson, who decided not to seek another term. Ward 2 is generally the southwest quadrant of Willmar.
Fernando Alvarado and Bob Enos filed for the seat in Ward 3. Councilman Steve Ahmann is not running for re-election as he has filed to run for the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners in District 2. The city’s Ward 3 is in east Willmar, generally immediately south of U.S. Highway 12.
Kacher is a retired information technology professional, which included working as a senior business consultant at Kraft Foods in Madison, Wisconsin. She currently is on the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission’s operations board, serving as vice chairwoman. Kacher said in a statement that she has also worked on community projects, including the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter and was co-president of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi County. She has also been part of the Kandiyohi County Republicans since 2014, serving as president, co-chair and treasurer.
Schwantes is employed as the Southern Regional Director with the University of Minnesota, working closely with counties across the state. In her earlier announcement, she said her community involvement includes serving on the Willmar Vision 2040 committee, as a charter member of WeLEAD and serving on the city of Willmar’s Police and Civil Service Commission.
Asmus is a retired Willmar police officer and veteran of the Minnesota Army National Guard. Today, Asmus is an adjunct professor at Ridgewater College and trains DARE officers across the country. She is also serving on the Vision 2040 Leadership Design Team, she said in her earlier announcement.
Peppin is a Willmar area business man, owning Relentless Ink, Pep’s Barber Shop and La Movida Night Club, according to his previous announcement. He is also the owner of the West Central Broncos, a semi-professional football team.
Alvarado has been a field claims representative at Auto Owners Insurance for 23 years. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran. Alvarado served on the Willmar Planning Commission from 2000 to 2006, and he said his other community involvement has included working on the Cardinal Pride Endowment Fund and with the Willmar Aquatic Racing Stingrays.
Enos is a former member of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission’s operations board. He ran for Willmar City Council in 2014 for Ward 3, but was unsuccessful.
Enos moved to Willmar from Massachusetts in 2008, according to Tribune archives. He served in administration in the city of Providence, Rhode Island and worked as a consultant in New York City, advising manufacturing, engineering and commodities management companies.
Councilman Shawn Mueske is running uncontested in his re-election bid in Ward 4. He is the only incumbent council member running. His ward is in southeast Willmar.
Mueske won the council seat in a November special election after the resignation of Jim Dokken.
Mueske is a professor at Ridgewater College and has taught biological sciences for over 23 years.
A primary election will not be needed for any of the wards and the general election will be held Nov. 8.
Filing closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Candidates have until 5 p.m. Thursday to withdraw their candidacy.
One of the two council members representing each ward is up for election every two years. Council members not up for election are Andrew Plowman in Ward 1, Ron Christianson in Ward 2, Rick Fagerlie in Ward 3 and Audrey Nelsen in Ward 4. Mayor Marv Calvin will serve through January 2019.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


What To Read Next
The driver was uninjured Saturday when he smelled smoke as he was leaving Paynesville and saw flames coming out of it.
The Kandiyohi County Board will be considering a request for American Rescue Plan Act funds and a letter of support to go towards a broadband project in several townships.
The museum showcases a wide variety of people, places and things from the 150 years of the county's past.
The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.