ST. CLOUD -- Each of the four wards on the St. Cloud city council are up for election this year. On Friday the two candidates running for Ward 2 were on the News @ Noon Show. Liz Baklaich is challenging incumbent Steve Laraway.

Backlaich says she decided to run because she doesn't like the direction that the city is going.

Well if you drive around town and you look at all the empty storefronts that doesn't look like a good direction to me.  I see businesses closing and leaving and I see people leaving.  Our population is actually down one percent when we've been bringing in new residents.

Laraway says there are several projects in the works right now, including along East St. Germain Street, which is in Ward 2.

We actually have a couple of things that are kind of in the works that I can't really disclose. I think in the next year you'll see some activity in that area.  You know we're in a time where retail is really struggling, because of Amazon primarily.

Laraway says there are signs of growth in the city including new businesses going into the former Sears location at Crossroads, the Beaver Island Brewing Company, and Arctic Cat's expansion.

The general election is coming up next Tuesday.