Bemrich unopposed in re-election bid

Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich will run unopposed for re-election on Nov. 5.

The filing deadline for the city ballot was 5 p.m. Thursday.

In all, 12 candidates are running for the six open seats on the Fort Dodge City Council.

In Ward 1, Terry Moehnke and Eugene Melvin Newsome are running against incumbent Mark Taylor. Ward 1 includes western and northwestern Fort Dodge, Pleasant Valley and much of downtown.

In Ward 2, the southeastern portion of the city, Steven Clayton is running against incumbent Don Wilson.

In Ward 3, the northeastern part of the city, Richard Higgins is challenging incumbent David Flattery.

Incumbent Kim Alstott is running unopposed in Ward 4, the north central part of the city.

Two at-large seats will be open. At-large Councilman Andy Fritz will run for a second term, facing Jeffrey Halter, Greg Nolting and Rich Seltz.

At-large Councilman Robert “Barney” Patterson is not seeking another term.

Councilman Dean Hill, who holds an at-large seat, is the only council member whose term doesn’t expire this year.

The at-large council members and the mayor will serve four-year terms. The council members representing the wards serve two-year terms.

The mayor is paid $15,000 a year. Council members are paid $4,800 per year.


Having drawn no opposition, Bemrich is slated be the first Fort Dodge mayor elected to a second consecutive full term since Mike McCarville in 1989.

Bemrich has served in the city government since 2005, when he was elected to an at-large seat on the City Council.

A native of Fort Dodge, Bemrich, an electrician with Bemrich Electric & Data Communications, is a graduate of St. Edmond High School and was a founding member of the Fort Dodge Young Professionals.

After filing his nominating papers Monday, Bemrich told The Messenger he wants the city to continue to develop new and improved housing.

He also hopes the city will focus on the start of the crosstown connector project, which would turn First Avenue South into a two-way street all the way through Fort Dodge and join First and Second avenues south between Fifth and Sixth streets. After that link was completed, part of Second Avenue South east of Fifth Street would be removed to create space for future development.

Ward 1

Moehnke, of 222 Crestview Drive, is an optometrist who led the effort to create Veterans Memorial Park near Badger Lake. He is a member of the Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma Club. He earned his optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., and has a master’s degree in clinical vision research from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Newsome, 18 N. Third St., is an U.S. Army veteran and received his associate degree from Iowa Central Community College. He is a retired custodian and a member of H.C. Meriwether Lodge No. 46, a Masonic group.

Taylor is seeking his second term on the council. He lives at 100 Fifth St. N.W. The candidate is a native of Fort Dodge who retired from the U.S. Army after 24 years of service. He is a graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High and has a bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ward 2:

Wilson, 1320 S. 24th St., is seeking his sixth term. He is a retired homebuilder who graduated from St. Edmond High School.

Clayton, 1355 S. 26th St., owns Clayton’s Ribs and Chicken, and is also a corrections officer at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility. Clayton is an U.S. Army veteran and a member of H.C. Meriwether Lodge No. 46.

Ward 3:

Higgins, 3343 10th Ave. N., retired from a career in retail management and works part time at J.C. Penney. He ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the council in 2011, and ran for the Ward 3 seat in 2007 and 2009. He is retired after a 47-year career in retail management. He is a Fort Dodge native who graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High. He is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Flattery, 1310 N. 29th St., was elected to an at-large council seat in 2007. At the end of that term, he ran for and was elected to the Ward 3 seat. He is the president of CS Bank in Fort Dodge. A native of Vincent, Flattery graduated from St. Edmond High School. He has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Ames.

Ward 4:

Alstott, 1232 N. Seventh St., is running unopposed.

In the 2011 election, Alstott won by one vote against incumbent Kelly Hindman.

In 1990, he trained as a financial counselor and worked to help people get out of debt. He is a Fort Dodge native who graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High and earned an associate degree in management from Iowa Central Community College. The candidate is a veteran of the Iowa Army National Guard.


Halter, 1446 S. 21st St., is a native of Iowa City who moved to Fort Dodge eight years ago. He is currently the coordinator of the Transition Alliance Program at Fort Dodge Senior High, which helps students transition from high school to adulthood. He is the secretary for Young Professionals and serves on the Image Committee for the Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College in Waverly and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Las Vegas, Nev. Halter ran against Wilson in the 2011 race for Ward 2.

Fritz, 1222 S. 25th St., is running for his second term. He is an assistant department manager at Menards. He graduated from Iowa Central Community College in 2008, and from St. Edmond High School in 1993. He is one of the co-founders of It Gets Better Fort Dodge, a nonprofit youth empowerment advocacy organization.

Nolting, 1820 Fifth Ave. S., served on the City Council for five years prior to being elected to the Webster County Board of Supervisors in 2002. He served as a supervisor until 2008, when he was defeated in a primary election by Bob Singer of Fort Dodge.

Seltz, 622 N. 12th St., owns Rich-Woods Inc. and The Dariette in downtown Fort Dodge. He has been chairman of the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District board for two years. This is his first time running for city office.