Hanson prevails as council president, but voters send a message
By Jeffrey Pieters
In a sense, the race for Rochester City Council President had two winners on Tuesday.
There was the actual winner, incumbent President Dennis Hanson, who keeps his seat for another four years, having received 62 percent of the vote.
And then there was the moral victory, won by Renee Kragnes, who put up a strong showing considering she was an unknown and under-financed candidate debuting her political career against arguably the city’s most powerful elected official.
"It’s been an experience," Kragnes said. "It’s been a very positive experience."
"It’s something I would never have imagined, even six months ago, having considered," she said. "I definitely enjoyed it."
Hanson took a signal from the vote totals.
"It just tells me I have to work harder," he said. "There are people in the community who are concerned about the direction of the city."
Hanson said he will concentrate on public safety, downtown development and citywide development in his new term. It will be his second term as council president. He’s been on the city council since 1998.
"I’m excited about the next four years," Hanson said.
He had words of praise for his opponent.
"She did a great job," he said. "Thirty-eight percent of the vote is a pretty good tally for someone the first time out of the chute."
Kragnes said she will continue to follow local politics, and might consider a run for the Ward 5 council seat in two years.
"My life has been about trying to get to a point where I can do this," she said. "I think I’ve already made a difference in a few things. I know I did."