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Kindred recall election set for Sept. 19

A recall election is scheduled for Sept. 19 to decide the fate of a Kindred City Council seat now held by Julie Johnson. Kim Hyatt / The Forum

KINDRED, N.D. — A recall election is set for Sept. 19 to decide the fate of a Kindred City Council seat now held by Julie Johnson.

The election date was set after a petition drive collected about 124 signatures. Less than 40 were necessary to get the question on the ballot in the Cass County town of about 700 people.

The push for the special election began earlier this year when a group of city residents claimed Johnson was aggressive and disrespectful in dealings she had with city staff, including Twila Morrison, who was then city auditor.

The tension came to a head in March, when Morrison resigned along with Mayor Jeff Wanner, Johnson's father, who had tried in vain to mend the rift between his daughter and Morrison.

Both Wanner and Morrison later returned to their positions, though Morrison subsequently resigned again and now has a job in the private sector. Morrison declined to comment for this story.

Johnson, who is in her second term as a council member, said she spent her first term learning how the city operated.

She said during her second term she began questioning how certain things were done. She said that caused friction with some, including Morrison.

"We were paying overtime incorrectly, and there were a couple of other big things we had to stop right away. She (Morrison) didn't have much supervision, and everybody let her take the lead," said Johnson, who added she is hopeful she will win the election and have the opportunity to continue serving Kindred.

Recall organizer Ozzie Peraza said he knew of two people who may run to challenge Johnson but declined to name them. The deadline to file as a candidate for the seat held by Johnson, the term for which expires in 2020, is 4 p.m. Monday, July 17.

Dave Olson
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