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Filing flourish forces primaries for city races

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

A two-week filing period for political candidates seeking local offices in the fall elections ended with a flourish on Tuesday.

Six new candidates entered the Rochester city races from late Monday to the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday — and now every city race will have a Sept. 9 primary election.

Also, one more candidate entered a now-crowded race for Olmsted County District 7 commissioner.

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Two of the last filers entered the race for Rochester’s most powerful office, the at-large seat, which serves as council president.

Renee Kragnes, a Rochester accountant, and perennial candidate Al Schumacher, a retiree, filed to challenge incumbent president Dennis Hanson.

In Ward 2, Michael Chaffee and Lynn Wilson — not the Olmsted County DFL Party chairwoman — filed to make it a field of five seeking senior council member Marcia Marcoux’s seat.

In Ward 4, Mark Bilderback, who lost the 2004 election to Pat Carr in a pairing of then-first-time candidates, filed for election, setting up a grudge match. Local businessman Steve Barlow is the third candidate in the race.

And in Ward 6, Curt Kephart filed. Kephart earlier sought the council seat when former council member David Senjem vacated it to join the state senate in 2002. He and Gary Smith are challenging first-term incumbent Sandra Means.

In the Olmsted County races, not much changed on Tuesday.

Dan O’Neil filed to challenge first-term board member Judy Ohly, who already had two opponents previously filed. Dallas Backhaus and Terry Throndson are the other two.

District 1 commissioner Mike Podulke will be unopposed for a second term. District 3 commissioner Paul Wilson has one opponent in Ann Haddorff.

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And District 5 Commissioner Jim Bier, like Ohly, will have a primary election battle with three opponents. Former Commissioner Jim Daley, Dean J. Rich and Tom Tweite had all previously filed to challenge Bier.

Rochester races

Council president: James E. Fricker II, *Dennis Hanson, Renee Kragnes, Al Schumacher

Ward 2 council member: Michael Chaffee, Dawn M. Johnson, *Marcia Marcoux, Lynn Wilson, Michael Wojcik

Ward 4 council member: Steve Barlow, Mark Bilderback, *Pat Carr

Ward 6 council member: Curt Kephart, *Sandra Means, Gary Smith

* signifies incumbent.

jeff pieters 7/16/08 We have mugs of Hanson, Schumacher, Chaffee, Marcoux, Wojcik, Barlow, Bilderback, Carr, Means, and Smith from the city. From the county races, we have Podulke, Wilson, Haddorff, Bier, Daley, Rich, Tweite, Ohly, Backhaus, Throndson. In other words, everyone except O’Neil.

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