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Jeremy Hurd and Amy Stark are competing for the District 4 County Commissioner seat in a Jan. 7 special election

County commissioner election next Tuesday

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The election to fill the county commissioner seat for District 4 will take place next Tuesday, Jan. 7. After a primary election in November, Jeremy Hurd and Amy Stark advanced to face off for the seat, which the winner will fill until the end of 2014.

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The district includes wards 2 and 4 of Two Harbors and the second precinct of unorganized territory 2.

Constituents may check the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.mn.us or call the auditor’s office at (218) 834-8315 to see if they are residents of District 4, if they are registered to vote and where their polling place is located. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Lake County News-Chronicle introduced all four primary candidates in November. Here’s a review of the remaining two candidates’ backgrounds and their final statements on why they should be the next county commissioner for District 4.

Jeremy Hurd

Hurd is married to Tricia and has two daughters, Kennedy and Alicia. He graduated from Two Harbors High School and received his bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a double major in political science and history. He graduated from the University of North Dakota law school in 2000. He has served on the Two Harbors Economic Development Authority, Two Harbors Development Fund board and the Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He was a sergeant at arms and an intern for the Minnesota House of Representatives and completed the Leadership Duluth program.

From Hurd:

“I am running for 4th district commissioner and I am asking for your vote on Jan. 7. My experience is in a private law practice. As a business owner, I know what it means to make payroll, pay rent and keep staff motivated and committed to the cause. I also know that it takes an open mind, the ability to be a good listener, and a lot of hard work and efficiency to get results for clients in a cost-effective manner.

I have had daily experience in negotiating and advocating for a wide variety of clients over the years. I will use that experience to advocate for Lake County and represent the residents of the 4th district. In my spare time, I saw an opportunity to give back to the community by taking part in both the Two Harbors Development Fund and the Two Harbors Economic Development Authority to help with local economic development issues. Recently, my opponent and I were invited to answer questions in a forum held by the Duluth Building Trades - the labor unions representing Lake, St. Louis, Cook, Carlton and Pine counties. My background and my vision for economic development won their endorsement for your county commissioner. I am honored to have their support, and I humbly ask for yours.

If elected, I promise to work as hard as I can to be a good steward of all the resources that we are lucky to enjoy here in Lake County. I will also work to find responsible economic opportunities to make Lake County even stronger so that our children and grandchildren can experience all that we love about our community. I have the real-world experience, the practical skills and the commitment to serve Lake County. Please vote for me on Jan. 7.”

Amy Stark

Amy is married to John and has two daughters, Kate and Sarah, and a grandson, Owen. She received her bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a double major in psychology and communications. She is a former small business owner at The Oldest Sister Gift Emporium, a former licensed service provider for Lake County semi-independent living services and is a current board member for the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging, North Shore Area Partners and Community Partners (vice-chair).

From Stark:

“I am honest, loyal and dependable. I am invested in the area, having family ties that reach back several generations. As a public employee, I have a strong reputation of being responsive to community members.

I am the candidate with the most experience. I know the people, the departments and the inner workings of county services. I am experienced in the management of employees and budgets as well as understanding mandates, contracts, statutes and legal language. I have a proven record of strong fiscal oversight of public dollars and have worked hard to consistently increase revenue and decrease spending.

The stage of my life allows me the ability to dedicate the time required of this demanding position. My children are grown, so I no longer have the time constraints required of a young family. Once elected, I will be stepping down from my full-time employment, as my current position would be a conflict of interest. Committing my time to serving the residents of Lake County will be my primary focus.

The perspective I hope to bring to the Board is that of a female, a former employee and a Human Services expert. Females think differently than males and our holistic perspective needs to be represented in governmental decision-making roles. As an employee, and specifically as supervisor, I have become aware of areas administration could improve upon to provide services to our residents and would like the opportunity to be more progressive in how Lake County provides for its citizens. Human Services is the department people turn to when life becomes overwhelming – a job is lost, an elderly parent needs care, a child is born with a disability, you are struggling with addiction, someone has been mistreated - my knowledge base will be an asset to administrative decisions for these mandated services.”

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