Dead Rochester City Council president wins re-election

Published 11:16am Thursday, November 8, 2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The president of the Rochester City Council has won re-election — even though he’s been dead for four months.

The late Dennis Hanson won 51 percent of the vote Tuesday, defeating a challenger and a write-in candidate.

Hanson filed for re-election in May but died of a brain aneurysm in June. State law prohibited his name from being taken off the ballot. Hanson’s supporters say they campaigned on his behalf to give voters a new election with a choice of candidates.

Rochester now will have a special election, likely in early April, to fill Hanson’s seat.

John Eckerman, who led the Hanson campaign, said it was never about a “sympathy vote” but was instead about giving voters a choice.

Hanson had been council president since 2008.

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