Get to know the four candidates for Rochester mayor

Incumbent and three challengers are on the Aug. 9 ballot, which will narrow the field to two candidates. In preparation for Election Day, here's a look at the candidates' backgrounds and some of what they've said since deciding to run for office.

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Kim Norton, Dean Koutsoukos, Britt Noser and Brad Trahan.
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ROCHESTER — Rochester voters will narrow the city’s mayoral race to two candidates in less than a week.

Tuesday’s primary features four candidates for the position, incumbent Kim Norton and challengers Dean Koutsoukos , Britt Noser and Brad Trahan .

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The four have been knocking on doors, answering questions and hoping to convince voters they are the right choice since they filed for office in May.

Shortly after filing, the candidates were asked why they considered themselves the best fit for the position, along with what they would consider a chief goal, if elected.

The candidates’ backgrounds, along with their replies, can be found at this link .


To help voters better understand the candidates, here’s a gathering of reports, videos and the candidates’ words:

125 Live forum

The four candidates gathered on July 5 to answer questions at 125 Live in a forum moderated by the Post Bulletin and ABC News 6. Topics included the city’s budget, public safety, workforce shortages and affordable housing.

League of Women Voters

The four candidates answered another round of questions two weeks later at the Rochester Public Library.

Questions came from the League of Women Voters, the Post Bulletin and the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the online audience and some early audience questions before some unruly members led to the expulsion of the in-person audience.

Topics included the mayor’s role in city government, setting priorities, community divisions, filling city boards and commissions and development.

Video questions

The candidates also provided video responses to four Post Bulletin questions on topics that included parks, vetoes and Destination Medical Center.


The four candidates were asked about the position and why they decided to run for office.
Rochester's mayoral candidates were asked where they believe the city should focus efforts in parks and recreation spending.
The four candidates for mayor were asked about the role of the mayoral veto of City Council decisions. Here’s what they said.
The four candidates for mayor were asked about what they see as key Destination Medical Center priorities in the next four years. Here’s what they said:

Written statements

The candidates were also asked to submit letters to the Post Bulletin’s opinion page, addressing their campaigns for mayor.

Many generations have worked hard to make Rochester a No. 1 city. It’s been a great city for residents, businesses and visitors for a long time. However, Rochester’s history of expand and grow has changed to re-image and replace.
It has been an honor to serve as Rochester’s Mayor. As I look back at the goals I pledged to address when I first took office, I am proud of the progress we have made. Together we are:
I am a regular citizen just like you who became fed up with the direction and priorities of our city. I am not part of the Rochester establishment so therefore I do not owe any favors to any one interest over another.
I have been a resident of Rochester for the past 41 years. My wife Joanie and I have been married for 25 years, and we have three children: Brenden, United States Air Force Active Duty; Reece, residing at home; and Payton, a student at RCTC. I have been a professional search recruiter with Express Employment Professionals for the past 10 ½ years.

The primary election is Aug. 9 , with the four candidates listed on every ballot within Rochester. The top two votegetters will be included on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.

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
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