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Special election set to fill vacant seat on Goodhue County Board of Commissioners

The board has the option to appoint an interim commissioner to fill the District 5 seat until the election.

Goodhue County building
The Goodhue County Government Center in Red Wing, Minn.
Post Bulletin file photo
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RED WING, Minn. — Goodhue County residents in District 5 will have the opportunity to vote in a special election early next year to fill a vacant seat on the county's Board of Commissioners.

Paul Drotos mug
Paul Drotos

The District 5 seat is open due to the Aug. 4 death of Commissioner Paul Drotos . In July, Drotos stepped away from the board due to his illness and requested that the board appoint an interim county commissioner in his place. Susan Betcher was sworn in to fill the seat, but Drotos' death ended Betcher's appointment and triggered a special election.

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According to state statutes, the earliest date this special election can be held is Feb. 14, 2023. In an Aug. 8 memorandum to Goodhue County government, the special election will fall on Feb. 14 if only one or two candidates run for that office. However, if three or more candidates file to run for the District 5 seat, the Feb. 14 election will be a primary election, with the general election to take place on April 11, 2023.

The board does have the option to appoint another interim commissioner for District 5. If the board chooses this option, it must hold a public hearing regarding possible appointees by Sept. 6. District 5 residents who want to be considered for the interim appointment can submit a letter of interest to the board by 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.

In their memorandum to the board, County Attorney Stephen F. O'Keefe and Assistant County Attorney Erin Kuester recommend that the commissioners appoint an interim commissioner since "the residents of District Five would be without representation for many months."


District 1 Commissioner Linda Flanders said the board is intending on appointing an interim commissioner to fill the vacant seat.

The next Goodhue County Board meeting is set for Sept. 6.

Dené K. Dryden is the Post Bulletin's region reporter, covering the greater Rochester area. Before joining the Post Bulletin in 2022, she attended Kansas State University and served as an editor for the student newspaper, the Kansas State Collegian, and news director for Wildcat 91.9, K-State's student radio station. Readers can reach Dené at ddryden@postbulletin.com.
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