MIchael Wojcik is the sole Rochester CIty Council member seeking re-election.
“The community has shown me over the years that I don’t have to do this alone,” he stated in a letter announcing his decision to seek a fourth term. “Every time someone knocks me down, two more pull me back up.”
The Ward 2 council member also outlined a series of challenges faced during his first three terms, including political attacks during campaigns and the need to seek protection orders to protect his family from threats.
“I am tired, I feel beaten up, I don’t sleep well, I struggle with my mental and physical health,” he wrote. “My wife and family worry. I have poured my heart and soul into this community for many years.”
Wojcik was first elected to the council in 2008 and said this campaign, with three challengers, will differ from past efforts.
“I will not attack them or even mention them; but rather focus on my own vision and qualifications,” he wrote, also acknowledging that COVID-19 concerns will force all campaigns to consider safe options for getting their messages out.
With the filing period closed, Wojcik’s challengers are Mark Bransford, a software engineer; Denise Welte, a small-business owner; and Steve Barlow, a retired business owner.
As long as no more than one candidate pulls out of the race before Thursday’s withdrawal deadline, the race will require an Aug. 11 primary election to narrow the candidate pool to two people for the Nov. 3 general election.
Primary elections also appear to be likely for the three other open council seats.
Brooke Carlson, a small-business owner; Kathleen Harrington, president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce; and Vangie Castro, a community organizer, are seeking the city council president seat held by Randy Staver, who is not seeking another term.
Greg Munson, a retired educator, withdrew his candidacy for the council president seat on Tuesday.
In Ward 4, Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick, a landscape designer; Abel Brito, a sales manager: PJ Calkins, a sales and marketing strategist; and business owner Katrina Pulham, are seeking the council seat held by Mark Bilderback, who is not seeking a fourth term.
In Ward 6, six candidates Todd Pisarski, a certified public accountant; Tom Rigby, a retired certified public accountant; Donavan Bailey, a social worker; Craig Ugland, a real estate agent; David Diercks, a TSA security officer; and Molly Dennis, a special education paraprofessional — have filed to fill the seat held by Annalissa Johnson, who is not seeking a second term.
Two candidates filed for the District 5 seat on the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, offering the potential for a single primary race on the county ballot.
Brian Morgan, an engineer, and Regina Mustafa, founder of Community Interfaith Dialogue on Islam, filed for the seat held by Jim Bier, who is seeking re-election.
Another challenger stepped forward Tuesday in District 1. Commercial real estate agent Bucky Beeman is seeking the seat held by Stephanie Podulke, who has filed for another term.
In District 7, Wale Elegbede, Mayo Clinic director of Strategy Management Services, is running against incumbent Mark Thein.
District 3 commissioner Gregg Wright is the only board member running unopposed.
Also unopposed are Steve Connelly and Andy Hart, who are seeking re-election to Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District seats.