Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich declared his candidacy for a fourth term Tuesday, citing his desire to keep working on projects that have benefited the community.
”I think there are projects that I was involved in that are just getting started and I would like to continue on the path to seeing those move forward,” he said.
Bemrich cited the redevelopment of Crossroads Mall and the startup of a municipal broadband utility as two of those projects. He said those would be his top priorities during another term in office.
But he said those were just two of the things he’s been involved in as mayor. He said during his tenure there have been major investments in infrastructure, parks, quality of life initiatives, and job creation and retention.
”I think I’ve worked pretty hard in the last 12 years,” Bemrich said. ”We’ve done a lot of things in the last 12 years. A lot of those things needed attention and were not getting it in the past.”
If Bemrich wins a fourth four-year term, he will become the longest continuously serving mayor in Fort Dodge history.
Albert Habhab, who served as mayor for 14 years from 1960 to 1974, now holds that distinction.
Fort Dodge voters will pick a mayor, two at-large members of the council and all four ward representatives on the council.
Bemrich is the only person to declare his candidacy so far.
He got his start in local government by serving on a panel that recommended switching from a strong mayor form of government to the current city manager form. That change was approved by the voters in a 2005 referendum.
In November of that year, Bemrich was elected to a four-year term as an at-large member of council.
He was elected mayor in 2009, then was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.
He is project manager and co-owner of Bemrich Electric & Telephone.
Bemrich is a native of Fort Dodge who graduated from St. Edmond High School. He attended Iowa Central Community College, then graduated from the Iowa Electrical Apprenticeship Training Center in Des Moines. He has earned the designation of master electrician.
He and his wife, Michelle, have three sons.
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