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Box — Dennis Hanson in comfortable position after primary

By Jeffrey Pieters

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Rochester City Council President Dennis Hanson laid a strong claim to keep his seat, topping a four-person field in Tuesday’s primary election with 59 percent of the vote.

Hanson finished an easy first, receiving 4,245 votes. Second was challenger Renee Kragnes with 1,545 votes (21 percent). The two will face off in the Nov. 4 general election.

Hanson described himself as "satisfied" with the outcome, but said, "I’ve got work to do because I’ve got stiff competition, I think."

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Kragnes, a 46-year-old volunteer coordinator, said she felt voters were attracted to her message of "positive change."

"I’m involved with the community," she said. "I listen."

She seemed pleased with her election result.

"I have a lot of work to do, but I’m willing to step up and go the distance," she said.

Hanson, 53, won the council presidency four years ago by defeating an incumbent, John Hunziker. Before that, he represented Ward 1 as a council member for six years. He is director of business development for Kruse Lumber, a Rochester lumberyard.

"I’m still here to work for the people and work hard," he said.

Third place went to perennial city candidate Al Schumacher with 745 votes (10 percent). Jim Fricker finished fourth with 673 votes (9 percent).

Fricker, 21, called his finish "a decent turnout for my first run" and said there will be a second.

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"There will be," he said. "There’s no giving up for liberty."

Rochester City Council President

Dennis Hanson 4,245 59%

Renee Kragnes 1,545 21%

Al Schumacher 745 10%

Jim Fricker 673 9%

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