Election Season Is Upon Us: A Quick Primer

Written by: FMWF Chamber of Commerce

Photos specials to Fargo INC!

It’s hard to believe that yet another election year is upon us. There are certainly going to be interesting races for North Dakota’s national congressional delegation for both the Senate and House seats. And while there is sure to be a heavy focus on these big races coming up in the fall, to turn our attention locally, the Chamber is gearing up to host a series of debates on both local and statewide races.

In the coming months and into the fall, as election dates approach, we plan to highlight and engage with local legislative and city races for both Cass and Clay counties.

As the June 12 election day quickly approaches, we will kick off our debates beginning with the Fargo City Commission. Nine candidates are vying for two open seats on the commission. As election rules haven’t instituted run-off voting, it’s likely that the two elected to the commission may win with a small percentage of votes. As for Fargo mayor, there is only one candidate, and that is incumbent mayor Tim Mahoney.

Tim Mahoney
Tim Mahoney

Switching to West Fargo, there will be a contested race between current mayor Rich Mattern and challenger Bernie Dardis.

Bernie Dardis
Rich Mattern
Rich Mattern

Mattern is currently seeking his fifth term as West Fargo mayor after retiring in 2015 from the North Dakota State University Extension Office in his communications position. Dardis, former CEO of Indigo Signworks in Fargo, is a longtime businessman and resident of West Fargo and has lived in the city for more than 40 years.

As election season rolls around, we look forward to hosting debates in order to expand our members’ learning about the various candidates, encouraging them to vote and providing information for them to make informed decisions.

The Chamber continues to work hard to get involved in public policy issues that are important to our members through advocacy and education. We advocate for our members through lobbying and engaging in discussion with policymakers and stakeholders. We put an emphasis on education through questionnaires for candidates, debates and forums. The final leg of public policy is political action, where we grade elected officials and endorse candidates. The Chamber currently doesn’t partake in those activities.

We are currently working on finalizing dates and locations for all of the upcoming debates and will be inviting the candidates soon after. We will have more details to come upon finalization of logistics. We look forward to an exciting election cycle to come.

FMWF Chamber of Commerce


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The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of over 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 109,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.