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Steve Rice enters Ward 1 Mitchell council race

A battle is brewing in Ward 1. The race to represent southwestern Mitchell on the City Council is officially underway, marking the first indication of a contested race for one of the five seats up for election in June. Councilman Steve Rice, who ...

A battle is brewing in Ward 1.

The race to represent southwestern Mitchell on the City Council is officially underway, marking the first indication of a contested race for one of the five seats up for election in June. Councilman Steve Rice, who has served on the eight-person board since 2012, told The Daily Republic he intends to seek re-election, and will square off against 22-year-old Dakota Wesleyan University student Clay Loneman for the three-year term.

Rice was appointed by former Mayor Ken Tracy and was elected in 2014 when no challenger filed a petition to run against him. Loneman will represent Rice's first challenge for the Ward 1 seat.

Rice has served on the council during several notable Mitchell events, including the $4.7 million Corn Palace renovation and the decision to move forward with the $8 million indoor aquatic center instead of a new City Hall. He also backed a $73,725 preliminary Lake Mitchell restoration study in 2016 and was one of three councilmen who voted against a citywide texting ban approved in 2013.

Ward 1 represents a portion of Mitchell south of Fourth Avenue and west of Rowley Street, except the area east of Sanborn Boulevard and north of Havens Avenue.

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Rice and Loneman, as well as any other candidates who file the requisite 50 signatures by March 28, will square off on June 6. As of Wednesday, Ward 4 Councilwoman Susan Tjarks is the only other incumbent to declare intentions to run for re-election. Ward 2 Councilmen Dave Tronnes and Bev Robinson said they do not intend to run for re-election, and Ward 3 Councilman Dan Allen is still weighing his options.

A map of Ward 1 in the city of Mitchell.
A map of Ward 1 in the city of Mitchell.

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