Voters in Crow Wing County District 5 have a decision in their future.
Twelve candidates are running for the office vacated by the April 19 death of Commissioner John Ferrari, who had been in office 26 years.
At the May 24 primary, voters will choose a single candidate, and the top two vote-getters will move on to the special election on June 14. There are 6,850 registered voters in District 5. The election winner will serve the remainder of Ferrari's term, which was set to expire in 2008.
The special election was required by law at the time. The existing law in April gave a short window - 30 to 60 days after the office vacancy - to have the special election.
This month, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a bill into law giving county boards the option to appoint someone to fill a commissioner's seat if less than two years remained in the term. The appointee would serve until the next regular election. The county board may still decide to have a special election instead of appointing someone and the new law allows more time to do that. The election window was increased to a maximum of 90 days after the vacancy. The new law was effective May 10.
Candidate profiles are listed in today's edition.
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