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Brede files for re-election; Carr considers bid

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

A battle is brewing in the race for Rochester mayor between sitting Mayor Ardell Brede and council member Pat Carr, who says he is pondering making a run.

Christopher Skogen, a political newcomer, also has filed as a candidate for the seat.

Brede officially filed his candidacy Monday, cradling his youngest granddaughter in his left arm as he signed the paperwork making it official: He is seeking a second term.

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"The campaign starts today," said Mike Quinn, who, with his wife, Diane, co-chairs Brede's campaign.

Brede made history in 2002, beating then-Mayor Chuck Canfield in an energetic race that featured Brede's team of volunteers, dubbed the "Brede Bunch."

Many of those same volunteers were on hand Monday, applauding as Brede turned to face them from the clerk's counter.

"We're going to work hard, and it will be positive," Brede said.

Carr, a first-term council member representing Ward 4, said he would run in an attempt to make the mayor's position more authoritative than Brede or any of his recent predecessors have done.

The city charter endows the mayor with greater powers than past mayors have exercised, Carr said.

"All of the moral compass is gone," he said. "It's almost a ceremonial state of affairs. It's almost like the king and queen of England. It's just royalty."

But he'll run only if somebody else, who shares his view of the position, doesn't. He said Skogen does not appear to meet that standard.

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"I hope somebody steps forward," Carr said. "If somebody else doesn't want to step up, then I guess I'm going to have to do it."

Carr said he'll delay his decision until late in the filing period, which ends July 18.

Carr has carved out a position as the council's contrarian, for instance, opposing the majority vote to hire a firefighter with a felony conviction and calling attention to Brede's trip last year to Germany, which was provided to him free by a local travel agent in exchange for organizing the trip.

Brede, meanwhile, has made himself Rochester's ever-present, smiling ambassador, who makes thousands of appearances each year and was the initiator of two new community festivals, Winterfest and Artstoberfest.

"I think I've done a pretty good job of building the pride in this community," he said. With three candidates, the mayor's race would lead first to a Sept. 12 primary election to narrow the field to the top two finishers, who would run in the Nov. 7 general election. Carr is midway through his council term and does not risk that position if he runs for mayor and loses. He would be up for election in 2008.

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