With just two weeks to go before the Nov. 2 general election, three write-in candidates last week entered the political fray in Montevideo.


With just two weeks to go before the Nov. 2 general election, three write-in candidates last week entered the political fray in Montevideo.

Former board member Tim Forde and Alan Van Ravenswaay are vying for a seat on the Montevideo School Board, and incumbent Jim Curtiss is in the race for another two-year term as mayor.

Prior to Forde and Van Ravenswaay’s announcements of their write-in campaigns last week, there were only two candidates who filed for three open positions on the school board: incumbent Andrew Stenson and Steven Kubista.

Forde served a total of seven years over two terms on the school before deciding two years ago not to run again. He is the chief financial officer at SL-MTI in Montevideo. His wife, Sharon, recently retired as a preschool teacher. They have two adult sons.

“After I left the board, I stayed very aware of the issues,” said Forde in phone interview Tuesday. “I realized how much I truly missed being on the school board.”

He went on say that he thought his years of experience on the board, along with his years of business experience, would be an asset to the school district if he were elected.

“I was asked by quite a few people to run again,” he said. “I wanted to give other people a chance to run, but when only two filed I decided to run.”

Van Ravenswaay, a newcomer to the political scene, is a livestock farmer and crop insurance adjuster. He has served on the board at Hope Reformed Church, and is the treasurer and trail administrator for the Monte Snow-Drifters snowmobile club. He and his wife, DeLaura, have two children attending Monte­video Middle School.

“I had been pondering this for some time,” said Van Ravens­waay Monday. “I know there are going to be some decisions made, and I want to be involved in them.”

Van Ravenswaay says he wants to be fair to the business community as well as to the school system. As an independent businessman, he knows the impact increased taxes can have on small businesses.

He expressed concern about the affect on not only his children, but other students and staff, of the decision to consolidate the grades in three buildings. He particularly mentioned his concern about the transition between middle school and high school.

“I have friends who teach, and their situation isn’t good with increased class sizes and shuffling between buildings.”

While he understands that if he is elected he will be on the receiving end of some unpleasant telephone calls, Van Ravenswaay is willing to accept that.

“I pride myself on being a good listener,” he said. “I may not always agree with someone, but I’ll let them say what’s on their mind.”

Montevideo mayor
Debra Lee Fader was the only candidate to file for mayor. The announcement of a write-in campaign for Curtiss came as surprise, said Fader Thursday last week. She learned of the write-in effort the night before at the candidates forum sponsored by the Montevideo Area Cham­ber of Commerce.

Curtiss told the American-News that he was as surprised as anyone to learn that his name had been put forward as a write-in candidate.

“I have no clue who threw my name in,” said Curtiss Monday. “I was on vacation last week, and I saw it when I got home. All I can say is that I didn’t seek this.”

Curtiss told this writer earlier this year he had decided not to seek another term after having served since 1997.

Chippewa County Attorney
The race for Chippewa County Attorney presents a different scenario in which there are two candidates on the ballot, but only one is able to serve.

Incumbent Dwayne Knut­sen filed for re-election in May, but he was subsequently appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to fill a vacancy on the 8th Judicial District bench created by the retirement of Judge Bruce Christopherson.

The appointment came too late for Knutsen to withdraw his name from the ballot. So even though his name is on the ballot, Knutsen will not be eligible to serve as county attorney.

The other candidate to file was former county attorney David Gilbert­son. He was subsequently appointed by the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners to fill out the remainder of Knutsen’s term.