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Activist Lenny Tweeden confirms city commission candidacy

Lenny Tweeden announced his candidacy for city commissioner over the weekend. / The Forum

FARGO — Activist Lenny Tweeden announced his candidacy for city commission on Saturday, March 3, for the upcoming election on June 12, 2018.

Tweeden ran for mayor in 2010 unsuccessfully but is once again seeking political office.

He is one of several potential candidates to run for city commissioner looking to fill one of the two available slots, currently held by Dave Piepkorn and Tony Gehrig.

Tweeden has been an LGBTQ rights activist for many years, with heavy involvement in Fargo Pride week events and he also advocated for gay marriage rights in North Dakota before the denial of marriage to same-sex couples became unconstitutional.

"I would like to see the city become more active in statewide issues, especially considering that Fargo and West Fargo make up 20 percent of the state population," Tweeden said.

He said he wants to continue central city redevelopment like improving or restructuring unusable housing rather than continuing to stretch borders south.

Tweeden aspires to raise the minimum wage to $10, saying the current $7.25 is below the standard of living, and wants to get to the bottom of unprofessionalism and bullying among city officials towards contract employees.

He also hopes to repeal North Dakota's blue law, among the most strict blue laws in the nation. Tweeden said, "it's more convenient for shoppers. We don't close stores for other religions."