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Four Mitchell council candidates file for June election

The race for a Ward 4 City Council seat is officially on. Councilwoman Susan Tjarks will face her first challenger in 62-year-old Sue Bennett to represent northwestern Mitchell on the eight-person City Council. Bennett was one of four candidates ...

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The race for a Ward 4 City Council seat is officially on.

Councilwoman Susan Tjarks will face her first challenger in 62-year-old Sue Bennett to represent northwestern Mitchell on the eight-person City Council. Bennett was one of four candidates for the five council seats up for election in June who has filed their nominating petitions, according to the city finance office.

Bennett, a member of the committee that helped shape the $8 million aquatic facility currently under construction, said she's hoping to give back to the community she's made her home for approximately a dozen years.

"We have so many wonderful things going on in Mitchell, and I just want to be a part in making sure that continues to grow and expand and make us even more wonderful in our community," Bennett said.

Bennett said her decision to enter the race wasn't a slight against Tjarks, instead noting that it happened to be Tjarks' term that was expiring when Bennett's interest in the position piqued. Bennett did mention that Tjarks hasn't faced an opponent for the seat in her four-year tenure, having been appointed by former Mayor Ken Tracy in 2013 and running unopposed in 2014.

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Now set for a matchup with Tjarks, Bennett said her experiences building a home in an undeveloped area of Mitchell familiarized her with bringing in street lights and infrastructure to her area. Bennett also said she has worked for the state and federal government and served in the Navy

When she retired, she said she became involved with the Mitchell Recreation Center and other organizations. And Bennett said an attempt to make the jump onto the City Council was the logical next step.

"It just seemed like the natural progression of things to continue on with service in our community," Bennett said.

Along with Tjarks and Bennett, Councilman Steve Rice has filed for re-election in Ward 1 and Tara Volesky has filed for the one-year team in Ward 2. As of Monday morning, no candidates had filed for the expiring seat in Ward 3 or the three-year term in Ward 2.

According to the finance office, no petition has been filed to recall Mayor Jerry Toomey. Mitchell residents are currently circulating recall petitions following a clash between Toomey and two residents at a recent City Council meeting.

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