SAUK RAPIDS -- Two familiar names are vying for an open seat on the Benton County Board of Commissioners this November.

Dick Soyka is a former commissioner from 2000-2008 and Jared Gapinski served as a Sauk Rapids City Council member from 2005-2012.

Gapinski says after serving as a city councilman, he'd like to take the next step and work on a county level. Part of that work is to help the county through the economic challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic...

Unfortunately, some of the issues are going to be dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus and the budgets and everything moving forward. That's going to dictate a lot of things that happen at the county level, state level, federal level really and all the way down.

Soyka says he is pro-law enforcement and wants to ensure the county is properly funding and staffing the sheriff's office.  He also stresses that Benton County needs to get better at economic development and he wants to help drive the growth...

In non-incorporated areas, you can do all sorts of tax increment financing. You can work with companies to get people in. In general, you need to just get the word out that we've got the land and we've got the places and come to Benton County.

District 4 covers parts of Sauk Rapids and Sauk Rapids Township.

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