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Former TV anchor vying to replace state Rep. Olson in West Fargo

Austen Schauer, a former TV news anchor, announced Wednesday, Jan. 3, that he's running as a Republican for the District 13 House seat. District 13 encompasses West Fargo and adjacent areas.

Longtime television news anchor Austen Schauer has announced he is running for the North Dakota House of Representatives in November.

He and longtime Representative Kim Koppelman will seek the two District 13 House seats. District 13 encompasses areas of West Fargo.

Schauer told Jim Shaw, guest host of the "Mike McFeely Show" on WDAY-AM on Wednesday, Jan. 3, that he will run as a Republican for the District 13 House seat. Schauer said he was asked by the current representative for District 13, Christopher Olson, to run. Olson has served since 2015 but announced last week he will not seek re-election.

"I thought to myself, why not?" Schauer said. "I've been here a long time. When you care about something, you want to be involved. This is my opportunity to serve."

Since April 2017, Schauer has worked as business development manager for ProSource Staffing and Recruiting in Fargo. He works with businesses seeking employees to fill positions.

He worked in television news from 1977 until 2013. He worked at WDAZ in Grand Forks from 1977 until 1980, while attending the University of North Dakota. He worked as an anchor at WDAY in Fargo from 1980 until 2000, and then as an anchor at KVVR from 2000 to 2013.

He left KVVR to become director of community relations for Park Christian School in Moorhead, a position he held until February 2017.

Schauer, 60, grew up in Portland, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif., before moving to Dickinson, N.D., in 1975 to attend Dickinson State College. His father grew up in Ashley, N.D., but became a minister, which required him to serve congregations in different locations.

Schauer has lived in West Fargo for 13 years. He and his wife, Angie, have three adult children and nine grandchildren. They have been married for 39 years.

Koppelman announced Monday, Jan. 8, that he will seek re-election to the House of Representatives.

Koppelman, a Republican who represents District 13, was first elected to the House in 1994. District 13 includes the city of West Fargo.

"Proven leadership is important to continue moving our state in the right direction and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to be part of good government in the North Dakota Legislature," Koppelman said in a news release.

Koppelman is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and serves on the Political Subdivisions Committee, the Administrative Rules Committee and the interim Judiciary and Government Administration committees.

He served on the Appropriations Committee for four years and as chairman of the Constitutional Revision Committee. He also served as the national chairman of the Council of State Governments.

Koppelman is founder and president/CEO of Koppelman & Associates, an advertising, marketing and communications firm in West Fargo.

He and his wife, Torey, live in West Fargo. They are the parents of three adult children, including state Rep. Ben Koppelman of West Fargo, a Republican who represents District 16, and the grandparents of nine grandchildren.

School Board elections coming up

The West Fargo School District has four School Board members whose terms expire in June 2018 and seats will be up for election on June 12.

Board President Kara Gravley-Stack, Jon Erickson, Shauna Vistad and Allan Skramstad are up for reelection.

Anyone interested in running for the school board must successfully complete an Affidavit of Candidacy and a Statement of Interests form. Both forms must be notarized and returned to the business manager no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, April 9 at which time the placement of names on the ballot will be determined.

The business manager's office is located at West Fargo Public Schools, Leidal Education Center, 207 Main Avenue W, West Fargo ND, 58078.

Interested candidates may contact the business manager by phone at (701)356-2002 or by email at lemer@west-fargo.k12.nd.us for more information. In addition, the ballot will include the question of publishing the proceedings of the School Board in the official newspaper.

School Board members serve a four year term.

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