Another candidate has entered the race for one of two Mandan City Commission seats up for re-election in June.

Ashley Kelsch announced her candidacy Friday. She is the public information officer for the North Dakota Insurance Department, with past communications roles with Ruth Meiers Hospitality House and the governor's office under Jack Dalrymple and Doug Burgum.

"Where I see my strengths lying is really in getting things done and seeing these ideas through to the end and making sure they're a success," said Kelsch, pointing to such avenues as encouraging development and vibrancy in Mandan.

"The city of Mandan should be providing the best of basic services to all its citizens," she said. "That means water, roads, other infrastructure and also safety."

Included in that is support of law enforcement, not only "metaphorically and emotionally but financially as well, according to Kelsch, who also highlighted city commission collaboration with the Mandan school and park boards. 

"I think that it's important that the city commission works together with these types of agencies to make sure we're touting the success of our community as well as expressing the needs of our community," she said of political roles stretching from Mandan to the Legislature to the governor's office.

"If we work together as one, we can create a much bigger impact than if we work as separate agencies," said Kelsch, who holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Dakota and a master's in creative writing from Minnesota State University-Mankato. 

She also noted a new generation of Mandan advocates.

"We are the future of Mandan. Our children are the future of Mandan. We deserve to have our voices heard and, most importantly, we deserve to have a seat at the table," the 31-year-old Kelsch said.

She is the fourth Mandan City Commission candidate to emerge thus far. Incumbents Shauna Laber and Dennis Rohr are both seeking re-election. Business owner Amber Larson announced her candidacy on Thursday. 

The election is June 12. 

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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