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Races are for Freeman mayor, Menno and Freeman school boards

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Registered voters living in the city of Freeman will elect a new mayor and those who are part of the school districts in both Freeman and Menno will choose between both incumbents and challengers in this year’s election Tuesday, April 14.

Michael Walter and Terry Waterman have both submitted nominating petitions for Freeman mayor, which is a two-year term. Sam Sorensen, who is finishing his fourth term as mayor, has chosen not to seek re-election.

Walter is a lifelong resident of Freeman and third-generation owner of Walter Funeral Home. Waterman moved to Freeman 2 ½ years ago and works for CHS — formerly Country Pride Cooperative.

The Freeman School Board election will feature incumbent Kerry Hofer and challenger Cody Fransen facing off for a three-year term. Hofer has served on the Freeman School Board since 2005 and has faced only one election; he defeated challenger Collin Waltner in 2017.

The Menno School Board election will include incumbents Justin Plooster and Mary Schoefish and challengers Bryan Kludt and Jon Schempp vying for two, three-year terms. Plooster has served two years on the school board while Schoenfish has been on the board for 13 years.

A number of other candidates submitted their nominating petitions and will not be challenged.

They include Menno Mayor Darrell Mehlahf, Ward 2 Councilors Ronald Diede and Jerry Fischer and Ward 3 Councilor George Cokens.

Ward 1 councilors Scott Simonsen and Robert Heckelaible, and Ward 3 councilor Jerome Kotalik, did not submit petitions for re-election; those seats will be filled by appointment.

For city council in Freeman, Ward 1 incumbents Charles Gering and Clifford "Lonnie" Tjaden, and Ward 2 incumbent Charly Waltner, all turned in their petitions. A petition was also turned in from Blaine Saarie, who will fill a one-year term representing Ward 2. That seat is currently held by Russ Becker, who is not seeking re-election.

The Courier previously reported that Tjaden had not turned in his petition because City Hall did not notify the Courier that he had. That information was made available to the Courier Thursday morning.

Ward 3 councilor John Munkvold did not submit a petition for re-election; that seat will be filled by appointment.

Watch the Courier for more on the candidates running for election April 14.