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Biggest race is a 'forgotton race'

The biggest Rochester city race on the ballot this year is also, to a great extent, a forgotten race.

Mayor Ardell Brede seeks election to a third term, in a rematch of the race four years ago against former city council member Pat Carr.

Carr has been working out of state for several months and will not participate in any public forums. He has not visibly campaigned and did not respond to the Post-Bulletin's request for an interview for this story.

Brede, consequently, hasn't campaigned much, either. If and when he does, it might serve simply to remind voters he's on the ballot.

"I think I'm doing a better-than-average job" as mayor, Brede said, adding with a chuckle, "which is hard for a German to say that."


"I said the first time (he ran), I would be accessible and visible and approachable, and I have tried to do that," Brede said. "I have great pride in Rochester."

Brede, who would turn 75 during the next term, says he is not calling this one the last.

"We'll see when I turn 75," he said. "We'll take a look, see what the barometer says, what my health is and so on."

After traveling to Saudi Arabia and China in 2009, Brede took a year off from international travel in 2010. He hopes next year to travel — at his own expense — to Norway and Denmark, where he would spend part of the time meeting some IBM customers in those countries.

Brede also hopes to travel again to Rochester's three international "partner cities" during the next term. Those cities are Mossburg, Germany; Xianyang, China; and Shihung, South Korea.

"I think it's important, whatever little piece we can do ... to work towards — it sounds very lofty — world peace," he said. "I think if we can have good relationships with the kids that are growing up, I can't think that it will hurt us at all."

Growing jobs, promoting Rochester as an "inclusive community" and promoting a freight-rail bypass around Rochester and a high-speed passenger line to the Twin Cities are Brede's other identified goals as mayor.

The official role of Rochester's mayor has been debated through the years: Full-time or part-time? City cheerleader or strong leader?


Brede is, beyond a doubt, full time, working an estimated 70 to 80 hours a week. As for his other role, Brede has never shied from being a cheerleader, but also has come in recent years to impose himself more frequently on the city council, whether arguing a position, advancing a cause or making a veto.

Ardell Brede

Age: 71.

Address: 653 16th St. S.W.

Years in community: 51.

Family: Wife, Judy; three children; six grandchildren.

Occupation: Retired from 43-year career at Mayo Clinic.

Community involvement: Mayor; past president and treasurer, Bethel Lutheran Church; member, Rotary Club of Rochester; past president and campaign chairman, United Way; member, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce; past president, Rochester Community and Technical College Foundation; past president, Rochester Civic Music; past president, Rochester Area Alumni and Friends of the University of Minnesota; past president, Rochester Credit Bureau; past president, Stone Barn Estates Home Owners Association.


What is your vision for Rochester?Help and promote Rochester as a top-10 city; jobs; University of Minnesota-Rochester education; safety. Provide leadership and pride in our city, continue to work toward building an inclusive community.

What is the appropriate role of the mayor in city government and politics?Leadership through guidance and being a facilitator and conscience for the city. Being the "face of the community."

Why should voters choose you for mayor?What others have said: "Appreciate his commitment to the life and vibrancy of this community." "He creates a very welcoming community with his comments to groups of visitors." "Passion for community is visible by his outgoing and regular presence at public events." I will continue to build pride in this great city.

Pat Carr

Did not respond.

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