Bemrich is unopposed for FD mayor

Five running for two at-large council seats

Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich is unopposed for his fourth term in office.

Five people are running for two at-large seats on the council. They are Brooke Bickford, Richard Higgins, Quennel McCaleb, Eugene Newsome and Councilwoman Lydia Schuur. There will be a primary election on Oct. 5 to narrow that field of candidates down to four.

Absent from the at-large race is Councilman Jeff Halter, who decided not to seek reelection.

The uncontested mayoral race and the five-way race for the at-large seats were set Thursday evening when the deadline for filing nominating papers passed.

City voters will also fill the four council seats from the wards during the Nov. 2 general election.

In three of those wards, there is no competition.

Councilman Terry Moehnke is unopposed in Ward 1, which includes western Fort Dodge, part of downtown and Pleasant Valley. He is seeking his fifth two-year term.

In Ward 2, Cameron Nelson is running unopposed for the seat now held by Councilman Andy Fritz, who is not seeking reelection. Ward 2 is the southern part of the city.

In Ward 3, Councilman Dave Flattery is unopposed for his sixth term. He had served as an at-large member of the council from 2008 to 2011. Ward 3 is the northeastern part of the city.

In Ward 4, Councilman Kim Alstott is being challenged by Gregory Gubbels. Ward 4 is the north central part of the city.

Brooke Bickford

She runs the family business, Bickford Realty, in Fort Dodge. She has also owned Buck’s Fireside Lounge and The Muscle Factory Gym. In 2010-2011 she taught and coordinated the broadcasting program at Iowa Central Community College.

Bickford, of 2542 22nd Ave. N., is a graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She began her career with a radio station in Iowa City. She later worked for a television station in Sioux City and a radio station in Fort Dodge.

Bickford organized a haunted house attraction called the Fear Factory. She also organized the Fort Dodge Senior High homecoming dance in 2020. She started a Facebook page called Pay It Forward Fort Dodge.

”Everyone has a fair shot in Fort Dodge and can make anything happen because we all work together,” the candidate said in a written statement.

Richard Higgins

Higgins, of 1661 Ninth Ave. N., is retired from a nearly 60-year career in retailing.

He is a Fort Dodge native who graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High School. He is a Navy veteran.

Higgins has run for council three times previously.

Quennel McCaleb

McCaleb, of 1629 Floral Ave., is a coach and student support services/transition specialist for the Fort Dodge Community School District. He also works part-time at the Community Based Corrections Center.

He said if he is elected, he will work to ”improve everything and anything I can.’

”I want to make sure that we become a community that stops exporting people and begins importing people,” he said. ”We need to be giving people a reason to come to Fort Dodge.”

He is a native of Fort Dodge who graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.

McCaleb serves on the Fort Dodge Human Rights Commission.

He also operates a mentorship program called Dodger Experience.

Gregory Gubbels

”I’ve seen a lot of growth in Fort Dodge and I’d like to see it keep going,” Gubbels said.

He said if he is elected, he will work to get streets fixed and to limit increases in water bills.

Gubbels, of 1633 N. 11th St., is a city letter carrier for the United States Postal Service.

He is a native of Pisgah who graduated from West Harrison High School.

2021 Fort Dodge City Election Candidates


Matt Bemrich

Council At-Large

Brooke Bickford

Richard Higgins

Quennel McCaleb

Eugene Newsome

Lydia Schuur

Council, Ward 1

Terry Moehnke

Council, Ward 2

Cameron Nelson

Council, Ward 3

Dave Flattery

Council, Ward 4

Kim Alstott

Gregory Gubbels


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