Staver joins list of incumbents not seeking another term

Three of four city council races appear to be headed to an Aug. 11 primary election. The filling period ends Tuesday.

Rochester City Council President Randy Staver speaks during the first council meeting of the year, on Jan. 3.

Rochester City Council President Randy Staver on Friday became the third council member to announce he will not seek re-election this year.

“It’s time to step back a little and take a look at other opportunities,” he stated in his announcement.

Staver was first elected to the city council in 2010 as the Fifth Ward council member. In 2103, he was elected to fill the remainder the council president seat following the death of Denny Hanson. Staver was re-elected in 2016.

Prior to announcing he will not seek a third term, Staver indicated he was considering another campaign but added that he’d make a final decision during the filing period, which ends Tuesday.

In addition to his time as an elected council member, Staver served 20 years on a variety of city, county and state boards and commissions, including the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Heritage Preservation, Charter Commission and the Ethical Practices Board.


“I’ve never lost interest in local government and have found that there is always something new to learn.” said Staver, who was recently appointed as Rochester Township clerk, a part-time position he accepted following his retirement from Mayo Clinic after 37 years.

Since the filing period for Rochester city elections started on May 19, three candidates have filed paperwork to seek the at-large council president seat. They are Greg Munson, a retired educator; Brooke Carlson, a small-business owner; and Kathleen Harrington, president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.


  • Munson plans bid for Rochester City Council president Retired teacher said city needs leadership change.
  • Carlson seeks to bring new ideas to Rochester council Council president candidate says city needs to find way to thrive amid uncertainty.
  • Harrington wants to help lead city to recovery The Rochester Chamber of Commerce president filed for the City Council president seat.

Three or more candidates seeking the seat will lead to an Aug. 11 citywide primary election to narrow the candidates to two for the Nov. 3 general election.
At least two other city races appear to be headed toward primary elections.

In Ward 2, three candidates – Mark Bransford, a software engineer; Denise Welte, a small-business owner; and Steve Barlow, a retired business owner – have filed for the seat held by Michael Wojcik, who has not announced whether he will seek another term.


  • Bransford ready to file for Ward 2 council seat Rochester man cites pay raises, increased costs as issues in campaign.
  • Welte readies Ward 2 campaign Rochester City Council hopeful wants to be voice for residents.
  • Barlow steps into Rochester's Ward 2 race Retired business owner says he has the experience needed to address issues as city council member.

In Ward 6, four candidates – Todd Pisarski, a certified public accountant; Tom Rigby, a retired certified public accountant; Donavan Bailey, a social worker; and Craig Ugland, a real estate agent – are seeking the seat held by Annalissa Johnson, who has announced she will not see a second term.

  • Pisarski seeks to serve Rochester's Sixth Ward residents Candidate says city council should reflect the needs and wishes of the community.
  • Rigby wants to help guide Rochester's growth Ward 6 candidate seeks to focus on finding the right solutions.
  • Bailey switches campaign plans for Rochester City Council run Ward 6 candidate seeks to ensure all are heard.
  • Ugland seeks to bring change to Rochester council Ward 6 candidate saw interest in local government start with street issue.

The Ward 4 race is currently the only city race that does not have more than two candidates. Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick, a landscape designer, and Abel Brito, a sales manager, are seeking the seat held by Mark Bilderback, who has said he doesn’t plan to seek another term.


  • Kirkpatrick ready for Rochester council run Candidate signed up to be first to file for 4th Ward seat.
  • Brito seeks Rochester council seat Ward 4 candidate plans to address public safety concerns

While five of the city’s 12 candidates filed for city elections this week, Olmsted County elections have been at a standstill.
According to the Minnesota Secretary of State website, no challengers have filed against the four incumbents, and no candidates have stepped forward for a pair of soil and water supervisor seats.

The filing period for the city and county elections ends at 5 p.m. June 2.

Information regarding filing for Olmsted County seats is available online at , and information for seeking a Rochester City Council seat can be found at .

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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