Incumbents Tjarks, Doescher file petitions for Mitchell City Council seats, as handful of residents emerge

For ward 3, three residents have taken out petitions, including Mike Bathke, Jason Bates and Kimberly Lofgren. Tim Goldammer is the lone resident who has take out a petition for ward 1.

The Mitchell City Council holds a meeting in March 2020 in the Corn Palace.
Republic file photo

MITCHELL — With a little over two weeks left to file nominating petitions for the four Mitchell City Council seats on the June 6 ballot, a pair of incumbents and a handful of new candidates have emerged.

According to city officials, council member John Doescher has already filed his nominating petition for ward 2, a seat he’s represented over the past six years. Council member Susan Tjarks has submitted her petition for ward 4, a seat she’s filled since 2013.

Of the four seats on the June 6 ballot, Tjarks and Doescher are the only two incumbents seeking re-election on the council, as of Wednesday, March 15.

Longtime council members Dan Allen, who represents ward 3, and Steve Rice, of ward 1, both have not taken out a nominating petition. Allen told the Mitchell Republic on March 10 that he’s not running for another term on the council this year. Rice has yet to respond to the Mitchell Republic’s inquiry about his status.

A rundown of non-incumbents with petitions circulating

Tim Goldammer, a professor at Mitchell Technical College, is eyeing to represent ward 1 – the southwest portion of the city.


A trio of candidates have taken out nominating petitions for ward 3 – the northeast portion of Mitchell. Among those who took petitions out are Mike Bathke, a longtime local business owner, Jason Bates, a downtown business owner who ran for mayor in 2021 and Kimberly Lofgren, the Chief Financial Officer of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce.

Challenging Tjarks for ward 4 is Don Everson, a former Mitchell detective who served in law enforcement for several decades. Ward 4 entails the northwest portion of Mitchell, including Lake Mitchell residents.

The window for nominating petitions to be taken out for the four city council seats on the ballot began March 1. For residents interested in running for the city council seats, nominating petitions must be picked up at City Hall and returned with enough valid signatures by 5 p.m. on March 28. Petitions must be returned to the city’s finance officer at City Hall.

Each city council term runs for three years. Residents seeking to run for a council seat must reside in the ward they are vying to represent and collect signatures from residents in their respective wards.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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