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Incumbents keep their seats on Perham City Council

Brad Schmidt1 / 3
Fred Lehmkuhl2 / 3
Jeff Fritz3 / 3

The Perham City Council will keep its two incumbents, Brad Schmidt and Fred Lehmkuhl. The results are:

Brad Schmidt: 41 percent, or 774 votes

Fred Lehmkuhl: 35.4 percent, or 668 votes

Jeffrey Fritz: 22.7 percent, or 428 votes.

Schmidt complimented Fritz on his run, saying he loved to see somebody like him getting involved, and in fact it's something he wishes more people would do.

"It's a team effort, and I think Perham is going in the right direction, but I wish more people would get involved with stuff so that everyone knows what's going on and we can move forward together," said Schmidt, who is enthusiastic about seeing some enhancements on the PACC and figuring out what to do with the old high school building.

"I don't think anybody wants to see an empty building sitting in the middle of town, but we've got some good people working on that, and I think something really good will come of it," said Schmidt, adding that the PACC has served its purpose over the years, but believes it can provide even more. He says he didn't realize when he was first voted onto the council how much great work those leaders were doing, particularly compared to some other towns Perham's size.

"It's a great opportunity; I like being on the council and learning," said Schmidt. "I think Perham does a lot of good work, and I'd like to see that continue."

Some of that work, according to Schmidt, also includes working on providing more affordable housing and daycare.

Although this newspaper was not able to get ahold of Lehmkuhl for comment immediately following the results, he commented earlier in the day on how strong the turnout was in Perham for a midterm election. Lehmkuhl has also previously stated that his goals are to operate on a sound financial basis of growth, increase the value of the city and create career opportunities and financial rewards for Perham's citizens. He also said he'd like to improve the quality of life by initiating the innovative ways to improve the quality of life in a broadband community.

Meanwhile, Fritz says this was his first time running for a position like this, and with a solid showing, he says he would like to try again.

"I have so much respect for the city of Perham, and I feel like I could make some good points," said Fritz, who previously said he'd like to look deeper into the railroad crossing situation, work for the betterment and safety of the community and to support the local law enforcement department.

Going forward, Fritz says he'll stay busy with the community musical and other things he's involved with around town.

"I'd like to thank the people who supported me in this decision of mine and thanks for the votes," said Fritz, who says throughout the process he walked away with even more respect for the people of Perham.

Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes and Perham, both in Minnesota.

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