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Council candidate’s priority is workforce housing

Michelle Markgraf

NEW ULM– Michelle Markgraf is running for election to the New Ulm City Council in the Fourth Ward.

She officially filed her candidacy Thursday.

Markgraf moved to New Ulm in 2019 but first came to the city as a college student at Martin Luther College — then Dr. Martin Luther College.

She earned her master’s in business administration from the University of South Dakota in 2017. Markgraf has spent most of her career working for nonprofits and was the executive director of a nonprofit in South Dakota.

She currently owns her own business, Markgraf Consulting, which offers change management and strategic planning services to nonprofits and small businesses.

Since returning to New Ulm, Markgraf has had an interest in the local government. She is a member of the Sister Cities Commission and Charter Commission and sits on the Transportation Advisory Committee. Community involvement includes a seat on the operating board of Oak Hills, volunteering with the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerc and establishing a local chapter of 100 Women Who Care.

Last year, Markgraf was one of several individuals who applied to fill the open seat of New Ulm mayor. She was one of the two finalists.

Markgraf said she chose to run for council instead of mayor because with the council format she believed her ability to effect change was greater on the council.

In a press release, Markgraf said “New Ulm is a gem of a city in southern Minnesota. We have an amazing park system, the city is well kept and clean, and the people are industrious and friendly.”

If elected, she plans to focus on policies that encourage builders to add more housing options, so workers have options to live near where they work.

Markgraf also sits on a committee studying the day care shortage and wants to expand options to increase the number of available workers.

“As I campaign, I look forward to hearing from voters and better understanding their ideas, thoughts, and concerns they have for New Ulm,” she said. “If elected, I will work to grow New Ulm. It’s time to welcome more businesses, people and opportunities to our community.”

Markgraf is the first person to file for New Ulm’s City Council election. This year, Ward 2 and Ward 4 councilors and the mayor are up for election in November. The seats are currently held by Eric Warmka, Larry Mack and Terry Sveine.

Mayor Terry Sveine has announced he will not serve another term and will not run for office.

The deadline to file candidacy is 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 31.

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