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Our Opinion: Kudos to Koep and Borkenhagen

Each day something on the election front makes headlines. As we get deeper and deeper into what may be one of the most interesting election cycles in recent times, it makes decisions of two local elected officials stand out even more. Those decis...

Each day something on the election front makes headlines.

As we get deeper and deeper into what may be one of the most interesting election cycles in recent times, it makes decisions of two local elected officials stand out even more.

Those decisions came from two well-known community names and Brainerd City Council members. Both have been active in the lakes area for decades. One is long-term Brainerd City Council representative Mary Koep. The other, a newcomer to the ranks of the elected, is Chip Borkenhagen.

Their decisions stand out because they are not seeking re-election.

Although we didn't always agree with Koep, we always appreciated that she stood by her convictions and remained congenial despite disagreement. We appreciated Koep's dedication to the community and the connection she sought with the people she served.

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She loved going door to door, meeting and talking to people about what mattered to them. Walking through neighborhoods, knocking on the doors of strangers, going inside apartment buildings-none of it daunted her. In fact, it seemed to help fuel her passion for the job.

She's also been a fearless defender of the freedom of the press. Agree or disagree, Koep never held a grudge, but worked for what she felt was the right thing to do for the people's business. That's worth a gold star.

And our hat's are off to Borkenhagen for sticking to his campaign promise not to seek another term. Borkenhagen said he was clear since he won his seat in 2012 that he would focus on his term in office and not worry about getting re-elected. He also made a promise to his wife to serve one term. He obviously valued and kept both those promises.

Too few politicians do that these days-say what they mean and mean what they say. It's worth noting when it happens. And at a time when it's often said good people no longer run for office, Borkenhagen was an example of someone who chose to make his life and living in the lakes area, cares about the community and stepped up to run for elected office.

Both Koep and Borkenhagen serve as examples to others who may want to make a difference serving the people of Brainerd.

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