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WALTER TURNS IN PETITION FOR MAYOR; SORENSEN WON'T SEEK RE-ELECTION

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None in for Menno city or school board; deadline is end of the day Feb. 28

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A former Freeman city councilor and mayor wants to get back involved in local government.

Michael Walter has turned into City Hall his nominating petition for mayor, city finance officer Adam Van Ningen confirmed Tuesday afternoon. His was the only petition turned in for mayor as of the end of the day on Tuesday; that expiring seat is currently held by Sam Sorensen, who on Thursday morning, Feb. 20, told the Courier he would not be seeking re-election. 

All nominating petitions for both city office and school board are due by the end of the day Friday, Feb. 28.

Walter spent five years on the Freeman City Council in the 1980s and served a two-year term as mayor in the early 1990s. He lost a bid for mayor to Philip Svartoien in 2008.

Sorensen has been the mayor of Freeman since winning election as a challenger over Lonnie Tjaden in April of 2012. 

Two other petitions for city office have been turned in: Charles Gering (Ward 1) and Steve “Charly” Waltner (Ward 2) are both seeking re-election. In addition to the mayor’s seat, other upcoming vacancies in Freeman city government are seats currently held by Clifford “Lonnie” Tjaden (Ward 1), Russ Becker (Ward 2) and John Munkvold (Ward 3).

For Freeman School Board, both Cody Fransen and incumbent Kerry Hofer have turned in nominating petitions, meaning there will be an election on April 14. No other petitions had been turned in as of Tuesday, according to business manager Debra Goossen.

In Menno, no petitions had been turned in as of Tuesday, according to Menno City Finance Officer Lisa Edelman and Menno School Business Manager Dale Weiss.

The terms of all six of Menno’s city councilors are expiring. Those who currently fill those seats are Scott Simonsen and Robert Heckenlaible (Ward 1), Ronald Diede and Jerry Fischer (Ward 2) and Jerome Kotalik and George Cokens (Ward 3). In addition, the term of Mayor Darrell J. Mehlhaf is up. Two members of the Menno School Board of Education are up for re-election: Mary Schoenfish and Justin Plooster.