Crow Wing County Commissioner Doug Houge will seek reelection for the fifth time this November in District 5.

“Given the current challenges Crow Wing County now faces, both COVID-19 related and issues unrelated, I am announcing my bid for re-election for District 5 Commissioner,” Houge stated in a news release. “I will use this experience to help navigate Crow Wing County through these challenges, which we will be facing for months to come, returning us to a sound financial organization that will continue to offer the best level of service possible.”

Houge said the coronavirus pandemic is likely the single biggest challenge the county has ever faced and it will create challenges for months, if not years to come. He pointed to ways the county board has sought to help its residents face hardships brought forth by the issue, including a waiver permitting some property owners to pay their taxes late without penalty.

“Crow Wing County was the first county in the state of Minnesota to do this,” the release stated. “Another example of helping those impacted is the reduction in the liquor license fee which will be coming due in July which many businesses will likely be just getting their doors open to customers.”

Houge was first elected to the county board in a special election following the death of John “Jinx” Ferrari while in office in 2007. After running unopposed during the 2016 election, Houge faces a challenger this year in Ironton resident Michael Starry, who also announced his candidacy after filing for the seat last week. District 5 covers the northeastern portion of the county, which includes the cities of Crosby, Cuyuna, Deerwood, Emily, Fifty Lakes, Ironton, Manhattan Beach, Riverton and Trommald.