Two years ago, Rochester voters saw only one incumbent on city ballots.
With the two-week filing period starting Tuesday, it’s unclear how many incumbents will seek re-election on Nov. 3.
“I’ve said in the past that I would like to run for one more term,” Council President Randy Staver said this week, citing his 10 years as an elected official and roughly 20 additional years working as a volunteer on a variety of boards and commissions.
“In this world though, one can never say something with absolute certainty,” he added. “As such, I will make my final decision during the filing period.”
Council member Michael Wojcik also stopped short of saying he’s made up his mind.
“I am taking my time to ensure that my decision will be done for the right reasons,” he said, adding he sought a restraining order against a critic to protect his family in the last year.
At this point, he said he’s “just watching, listening and doing the job.”
Sixth Ward council member Annalissa Johnson did not respond to a request for comment regarding her plans, but earlier this year she said she was uncertain whether she would seek a second term.
Bilderback appears to be the only city council incumbent with a seat on the 2020 ballot with his mind made up, saying he doesn’t plan to seek a fourth term.
Earlier this year, the Fourth Ward council member said he’d only run if the race failed to attract two or more candidates, which appears uncertain.
“Usually you see people step out by this point and say they are going to run, and there hasn’t been that huge outcry,” he said, adding he still doesn’t plan to run, even if only one candidate seeks to replace him.
The city’s most-recent council election had three incumbents -- Mayor Ardell Brede and council members Mark Hickey and Ed Hruska -- make early announcements that they would not seek re-election.
Council member Nick Campion was the only incumbent to file for office in the 2018 election
The filing period for four council seats -- council president and wards 2, 4 and 6 -- starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday and runs through 5 p.m. June 2.
A city council candidate filing packet, including information from the Secretary of State’s Office and all required forms, can be accessed on the city’s website.
The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 has led to some changes to the filing process this year.
The Legislature authorized electronic filing for the first time, and the city is encouraging candidates to consider e-filing or filing by mail to minimize direct contact opportunities during the filing process.
To e-file, candidates can email all required forms to firstname.lastname@example.org, and call the City Clerk’s Office at 507-328-2900 to pay the required filing fee.
The filing forms also can be mailed, along with a check or money order for the fee payable to the City of Rochester. The address is Office of the City Clerk, 201 Fourth St. SE, Room 135, Rochester, MN 55904.
A delivery service, such as UPS or FedEx, also can be used to submit required filing items.
Regardless of method of delivery, all filing materials must be received -- not just postmarked -- by 5 p.m. June 2.