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Campion steps down from Rochester City Council race as others step up

Rochester and Olmsted County ballots start to fill, with one final day available for candidates to file paperwork.

Nick Campion.JPG
Rochester City Council member Nick Campion speaks at a city council meeting Aug. 2, 2021.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — The Rochester City Council’s most experienced member has decided to step aside from this year’s election.

Less than two weeks after declaring plans to seek a third term on the council, Nick Campion withdrew from the Ward 3 race on Friday, May 27, 2022.

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The three candidates for the open seat were asked about the position and why they decided to run for office.

“I think we have some good candidates filed, and it’s a good time for me, given my family life and what’s going on, to take a look at other things,” he said of his decision to step out of office at the end of the year.

He said the opportunity to step aside means more time with his family and a chance to avoid the challenges of campaigning for another term.

A pair of business owners filed Friday to fill the seat Campion has held since 2015.

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Spa Casey owner Casey McGregor and Knights Chamber owner Svaar Vinje are seeking to represent the ward that sits in the northwest corner of the city.

“I think this is a really good opportunity to have people step up and take up the work of the city,” Campion said, adding that he’s only aware of the two candidates that filed on Friday.

The filing period continues until 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

City and county reports by the end of the day Friday pointed to anticipated primary elections in the Rochester mayoral race and at least two Olmsted County commissioner races.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton is being challenged by three candidates, so far. Professional search recruiter Brad Trahan , local business owner Britt Noser and professional engineer Dean Koutsoukos filed for the office this week.

It means an Aug. 9 primary election will be needed to narrow the field to two candidates for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Primary elections also appear to be in the future for Olmsted County Commissioner races in districts 4 and 5, where the incumbents have announced they will not seek another term.

By the end of the day Friday, the Minnesota Secretary of State website reported four candidates had filed to fill the District 4 seat being vacated by Commissioner Matt Flynn.

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Brian Mueller , Bill Pirkl , Michael Melford and Kindra Ramaker have filed as candidates for the district that covers much of the southern and eastern portions of the county.

In District 5, four candidates have also filed to fill the seat being left by Commissioner Jim Bier at the end of the year.

Mike Macken , Evan Brown, Catherine Davis and Michelle Rossman are seeking to serve in the district that includes protons of western Rochester and the areas west of the city, including Byron.

While candidate filings going into the weekend haven’t spurred any other anticipated primaries at this point, two Rochester City Council incumbents are facing challengers.

In Ward 1, incumbent council member Patrick Keane is facing a challenge from Andy Hemenway, and in Ward 5, incumbent council member Shaun Palmer is facing a challenge from Saida Omar .

Olmsted County also has a pair of challenges beyond the anticipated primaries.

In District 3, incumbent commissioner Gregg Wright is being challenged by Karl Johnson , and at least two candidates will be on the ballot for county attorney, where incumbent Mark Ostrem is facing a challenge by Karen MacLaughlin .

Other filings for county offices by the end of the workday Friday were:

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Due to the Memorial Day weekend, potential candidates for city and county offices have one final day to submit their paperwork, The filing period ends at 5 p.m. May 31.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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