Deceased city council candidate wins election
Here’s an unusual result from Tuesday’s elections. A candidate for city council in Minnesota won reelection – even though he was deceased.
According to the Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn., City Council president Dennis Hanson beat out two challengers to retain his seat. Hanson, the council president since 2008, died of a brain aneurysm June 27, according to the newspaper.
Hanson filed for reelection in May and state law prohibited removing his name from the ballot. Supporters campaigned on his behalf, saying voters needed a chance at a new election with a choice of candidates.
“It was an unconventional type of election, obviously, and we had a simple message – vote for a choice,” Hanson’s campaign manager told the newspaper. “So the big winner is the city of Rochester. Now, others can step up to the plate, and we can have a choice.”
Hanson received 51.4 percent of the votes, with the second-place candidate receiving 43 percent and a write-in candidate getting 5.6 percent. The city will now hold a special election next year to fill the seat. If more than two candidates file, there will be a special primary and general election.
On Election Night, Hanson’s supporters gathered at a local watering hole, his favorite hangout, to await the results. Hanson was there, at least in spirit, with the candidate’s wife posing for photos with a cardboard cutout of the former council president. “I really think this is where he would want us to be,” his wife said.