By Dave Olson
FARGO -- Joe Burgum, a self-described community builder and entrepreneur, announced Monday that he is running for a seat on the Fargo City Commission.
Kick-off events for his campaign are set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at Ecce Gallery, 216 Broadway, Fargo.
Burgum is set to speak during those events at 12:15 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Burgum is the son of Doug Burgum, a well-known Fargo businessman and entrepreneur who is seeking the Republican Party nomination as a candidate for governor of North Dakota.
Joe Burgum and a team of community builders founded Folkways, a social venture that created the Red River Market in downtown Fargo and also facilitates Co.Starters, a course to help entrepreneurs launch local businesses.
Folkways was also part of an effort that successfully lobbied to bring the ride-sharing service Uber to North Dakota.
"I feel like public service and being involved in your community has been a part of my family since growing up," Burgum said.
"My dad's running for office now, but he's been engaged for a long time, along with my mother and my grandparents as well," added Burgum, who is 22 years old.
Being self employed, Burgum said he can set his own schedule. He said that flexibility has allowed him to attend a lot of public meetings on issues such as liquor control and policies involving taxi services.
"I want to represent my neighbors," Burgum said. "For me, it's about being a conduit for the voices of the community."
To be a candidate for the commission, hopefuls must file a $100 fee, or in lieu of that, gather 300 petition signatures.
Burgum is taking the petition route.
"I feel like Thursday's signing party will be a good indicator for me if people are interested in supporting me," Burgum said.
Doug Burgum said in a written statement Monday that his son’s dedication to helping Fargo is reflected in his commitment to organizations and efforts that inspire community and foster innovation.
“With his knowledge, passion, and curiosity, I know he would make a terrific city commissioner,” Doug Burgum said.
Joe Burgum has set up a campaign website at: www.JoeBurgum.com.
Two seats on the Fargo City Commission will be up for grabs in the June 14 primary election.
Others who have announced as candidates or indicated they planned to include attorney Mara Brust; teacher Tammy Amble Linn; and Fargo School Board members Robin Nelson and John Strand.