Meet the four candidates running for county commission

WARD COUNTY, ND (KMOT) – Four candidates are vying for two open seats on the Ward County Commission.

John Feldahl is the only candidate in the race.

He is a lifelong farmer who runs a small construction business with his wife.

Since 2006, he has been working as a member of the district commission.

Feldahl said he wants to continue to focus on infrastructure, sales tax management, as well as other major county projects.

He said he wants to continue to play a role in the economic development of the people of Ward.

“We have some economic development discussions going on across the county, and I’m interested in being a part of that discussion to make sure we’re making the best use of taxpayer dollars and continuing to protect people’s property rights and those interests. The people of this county,” Feldal said.

Jason Olson spent more than 30 years in law enforcement with the Minot Police Department, serving as the department’s chief for nearly eight years before retiring.

He said he wants to focus on using taxpayer money and public resources, roads and maintenance.

Olson said he’s looking for a new challenge in public service, and with his police background, he’s a good fit for the commission.

“One of the things in law enforcement is that you’re a problem solver. So, from the time I was a patrol officer to the chief, it’s that you analyze evidence, you gather information and you have to make a decision, and that’s a big part of what county commissioners do. You have to listen to all sides and come to a decision and a decision that’s best for everyone,” Olson said.

Lance McAfee is new to local politics, but he feels he fits the bill.

A graduate of Minot State, Makeff is a descendant and works as a local sports referee.

Makeff said he wants to focus on the effects of weeds such as hemp and palmer amaranth.

He says he also wants to ensure safe elections and focus on tax cuts.

“I just want to make sure that the taxpayers are represented and everybody is treated economically fairly, and I want to represent 100% of the county and all the taxpayers and everybody in Ward County,” Makeff said.

A familiar face in local politics in Ward County wants to return to the commission.

A former North Dakota National Guard, Walter served two terms as commissioner from 2012 to 2020.

He also serves on various community boards dealing with water use and previously served as Minot’s public works director.

Walter said he wants to work together on some concepts for the Southwest Project, work on road improvements for new farm equipment and focus on the budget.

“I think we should have representation for the citizens of the community who pay taxes along with the farming communities. That’s what I’m running for and to address some of the issues they’re raising,” Walter said at a public forum last month.

Commissioners serve for four years.

Incumbent Commissioner John Pitch chose not to run.

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