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Rochester City Council Ward 1 candidates

Three seek Ward 1 seat on Rochester City Council

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Patrick Keane, Andy Hemenway and Daniel Sepeda.
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ROCHESTER — Three candidates will be on the Aug. 9 primary ballot for the Rochester City Council Ward 1 seat.

Each candidate was sent a short questionnaire seeking background information and their reason for seeking the council seat that served the city’s southernmost ward.

Here’s what they provided:

Name: Patrick Keane

Age: 63

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Occupation: Retired: IBM in 2015.

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in computer science and economics, Saint Mary's University; master’s degree in management of technology, University of Minnesota.

Have you held elected office? Ward 1 Rochester City Council member, 2019-present.

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Patrick Keane

Have you served on local government boards or commissions?

  • Rochester Public Utilities board, as council representative.
  • Rochester-Olmsted Council of Government, as council representative.
  • Rochester Housing Coalition, as council representative.
  • Olmsted County Human Services Advisory Board.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals, former member.

Community involvement:

  • Morning Pride Lions Club, past president.
  • Friends of the Farmers Market, board member.
  • STRIVE Mentorship Program volunteer.
  • Rochester Public Library Foundation, finance committee member.
  • School classroom past volunteer.
  • Youth sports programs past volunteer and coach.

What are your top three campaign issues:

  • Efficient local government.
  • Responsive City Hall and responsive elected officials.
  • Compassionate community action.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I am a collaborative leader working as a community representative toward the best outcomes for our city, running on my performance over the past 3-plus years. My experience working with complex systems and larger organizations gives me insight for municipal policy making and problem solving. I make time to listen to the concerns of my neighbors in Ward 1 and give them a voice at the table.

What will be your top goal if elected? I will work to make Rochester successful in our strategic investments (LINK Rapid Transit, comprehensive city growth planning, carbon-free RPU in 2030) while also being efficient and responsive to the day-to-day operations/services (police, public works, RPU) that we all depend on.

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Daniel Sepeda, a candidate for Rochester City Council.
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Name: Daniel Sepeda

Age: 58

Occupation: Social worker.

Education: Associates degree in electronics.

Have you held elected office? No.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions? No.

Community involvement:

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  • Journey Church, board member

What are your top three campaign issues: 

  • Transparency.
  • Communication with the community in Ward 1.
  • Fiscal responsibility.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I care about the citizens in Rochester. I have befriended people who are struggling; low-income, no housing, and in some instances, no hope. I have also befriended politicians, city leaders, business owners. I have learned how to connect the two. I will listen to the people and bring their voices to the table.

What will be your top goal if elected? Simply put, to ensure the people in the community are heard, and fiscal responsibility.


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Andy Hemenway

Name: Andy Hemenway

Age: 48

Occupation: Registered nurse at Olmsted Medical Center.

Education: Bachelors of Science in nursing.

Have you held elected office: No.

Have you served on local boards or Commissions: 

  • Olmsted County Youth Commission, adult member.

Community involvement:

  • RNeighbors biannual tree planting volunteer.
  • 125 Live supporter.

What are your top three campaign issues: Not yet established. I personally feel that community issues are diverse and multifaceted and should not be "limited.”

What makes me the best candidate for this position: Personally speaking, I know very little about the other candidates, so I cannot compare myself to them. But I do know that I will do everything in my power to work for the people of Ward 1 and Rochester as a whole community. I have lived in southeast Rochester, specifically Ward 1, for 40 years of my life and am committed to the community and the preservation of "community pride" as noted in Rochester's mission statement while continuing to welcome and build upon new relationships with the ever-evolving and growing population of our city.

What will be your top goal if elected? 

Defer at this time.

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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