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Three candidates lead council race

Ross, Podrygula, Evans advance in unofficial results

Unofficial election results showed Minot voters selected Tom Ross, Stephan Podrygula and Carrie Evans to serve on the Minot City Council Tuesday. A number of additional ballots are expected to be counted when the canvassing board meets Monday.

Ross works at Gooseneck Implement and has served on a number of community boards, including Minot State University Board of Regents, MSU Beaver Booster Board, Minot Public Schools Ag advisory committee, FFA Alumni Association as president, Minot Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Visit Minot.

“I really think it came down to just the work I have done in the community and being involved in the community,” Ross said. “People supported the service I have already given to Minot and they were willing to give me that next step up and put me on the city council.”

During the campaign, he said, he found residents also welcomed common sense and a passion for making Minot better, and his themes of avoiding a burden on taxpayers and making the community more business friendly also resonated.

“In Minot, whether it’s economic development or tourism, we just need to create more victories,” he said. “We need to put dynamic people into those positions.”

Podrygula said residents appreciated his experience and also seemed to be looking for honesty and openness.

“I listened to people. Just going out to every part of the city and listening and pounding the pavement, you learn a lot and people seem to appreciate that,” said Podrygula, who mounted a large door-to-door campaign. “Just showing up and listening makes a difference.”

The only incumbent council member in the race, Podrygula is a clinical and health psychologist in private practice. Podrygula was chosen to fill a vacancy on the council in July 2018 after serving on the council a year following council reorganization in 2017. He had served two previous four-year terms more than 10 years ago and has been a Minot resident for more than 40 years

Evans is a graduate of Bishop Ryan and Minot State University. She left the state in 1990 to pursue her master’s and law degrees and went on to work in the areas of domestic violence and human rights. She spent time in Illinois, Louisiana, Toronto, the Washington, D.C., area and Baltimore before returning to Minot in 2017. Evans campaigned on bringing a fresh and different voice to the council, representing residents from all walks of life. She was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

Unofficial results, which can be expected to change Monday, showed Ross with 5,260 votes; Podrygula, 4,663; Evans, 4,511; Roscoe Streyle, 3,891; and Scott Burlingame, 3,709.

Streyle owns several businesses, helps manage a local community bank and has been involved in information technology for two decades. He served as a state representative in the Legislature for eight years, stepping down after completing his second term in 2018.

Burlingame, executive director for Independence, Inc., has been employed in leadership roles within the nonprofit community for over 20 years. He campaigned on his experience in working with community stakeholders to get things done.

On Monday, the county convassing board will consider late arriving ballots postmarked by June 8 and ballots set aside because of questions over signatures or other concerns.

Ward County Auditor Devra Smestad said her office has attempted to contact voters whose ballots were questioned to allow them to clarify information or provide missing information before Monday.

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