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Bisted runs for at-large Brainerd seat

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Laura Bisted, a business owner and lifelong Brainerd resident, filed Thursday for one of two at-large seats on the Brainerd City Council.

“I think Brainerd needs some new faces,” she said.

Bisted, 46, said she thinks it’s time for incumbents Bob Olson and Mary Koep to enjoy their retirement. The owner of Sports Card Central on Front Street said she hopes to bring new ideas, new points of view and new jobs.

“I’d like to see more jobs come back to this area,” she said. “We’ve been stagnant in that area.”

Her entry into the race means five candidates are seeking two at-large seats. Filing earlier were incumbents Olson and Koep, Chip Borkenhagen and Denny Schmidt. Candidates in Ward 1 are Sue Hilgart and Amanda Monnier. Ward 3 candidates are Jeff Czecok and John Magnuson.

Bisted has run her own business, and sometimes two businesses, for the past 22 years. She has operated her downtown sports card store for 14 years and previously owned a day care for 18 years.

The Pine Street resident ran the children’s events for the Moose Lodge when that fraternal organization was open. She has been married for 22 years and has two sons.

“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve lived in the city of Brainerd all my life. I’m willing to listen to new ideas. I’m very open to new ideas and ... willing to listen to the people.

“I’m a straight-forward person. I’m not all polished. I’m not fine-tuned and I try to live a straight, honest life.”

Filings close Tuesday.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860