Election 2016 News

Why are you running? Candidates for county commission open up at forum

Over the course of about an hour-and-a-half, the commission candidates were questioned on a wide range of subjects dealing with the county and its citizens.

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By BRYCE MARTIN
Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

The Bowman County Pioneer welcomed participants to its Bowman County Commissioner Candidate Forum June 2 at Bowman Lodge & Convention Center, with eight of the 10 total candidates in attendance.

Over the course of about an hour-and-a-half, the commission candidates were questioned on a wide range of subjects dealing with the county and its citizens.

We’ve reprinted the first question, asked of each of the eight candidates.

You can replay the entire forum on our website, www.bowmanextra.com.

Question: Why specifically have you chosen to run for county commissioner? Is there something you will seek to change or improve?

Bruce McLaughlin:

“I’m currently employed with the county on the road department… For the amount of money we’re spending on our roads, we aren’t getting a bang for our buck. We’re spending several hundred-thousand dollars a mile and we’re getting five or six years out of some of these roads… Maybe we need to look at hiring our own engineer.”

Commissioner Pine Abrahamson:

“I have no agenda running for running for commissioner. I guess I enjoy serving. I like the people. When we get a problem, you get to fix it and I don’t mind that. I don’t mind phone calls; when you get complaints, I like to take care of them. I guess I enjoy it.”

Dale Palczewski:

“I live right in southeast corner between Adams County, Bowman County and Harding County. And I’ve got three grandkids and I just want to represent not only the people down in the corner, but all the people of the county. I think it will be a good experience to run. To go through, to learn and see what actually goes on. If I have some big ideas and think I can get it done and it doesn’t happen, maybe my big ideas aren’t so good.”

John McGee:

“I don’t have any hidden agenda either for doing this. I’ve always been involved with various boards. It’s a contribution that all of us need to do and I kind of think of that the same way.”

Commissioner Rick Braaten:

“I enjoy working for the people and I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of doing that. We all have an opinion and sometimes it’s not the way everybody wants it, but we try to do the best we can and I would like to continue doing that.”

Chris Johnson:

“I feel that I’d be a good voice for the people of Bowman County. I’m not coming in with an agenda. I feel like I can speak for the people. I feel people can call me, talk to me, let me know what their feelings are and I would help support that. I grew up in politics. My dad’s been a legislator since 1993. I’ve been around Bismarck all that time, learning from those guys. I think they’ve run the state pretty well and learned a lot about budgets and different things in that time frame. I felt it was just the right time to step in.”

Jerry Jeffers:

“This is an important year for Bowman County. We have over half the seats available on the county commission. I feel that my past experience and leadership on various civics boards and government related boards, I have the ability to fill one of those positions and from that, that’s why I’ve decided to run.”

Dave Anderson:

“I, too, have served on township board: 26 years, president of the Lutheran Church Council, I was. Despite the budget can be challenging and to keep Bowman County moving forward, I feel will also be challenging. So this is why I’m seeking a seat as a commissioner.”