Hanson stays on November ballot - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hanson stays on November ballot


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Next month, voters head to the polls and could elect a man who died back in June.

The late Rochester city council president, Dennis Hanson, had filed for re-election. 

But here's the wrinkle. His name has stayed on the ballot because of a glitch in state law. His family is asking for your support because a vote for Hanson would force a special session --something the family said is important for the democratic process.

Because of a Minnesota law, Hanson's family can't remove his name from the ballot - or add a new candidate in his place.

That leaves Hanson and only one other person on the ballot - Jan Throndson - who most likely would win since Hanson is deceased.

The family says that is not a fair election.

"He always wanted to run against someone; it wasn't fair if he wasn't opposed," said Hanson's wife Linda.

After the family couldn't get Hanson's name off the ballot when he died unexpectedly in June, they say they knew they had to keep campaigning for him.

"We know it's what he would want," Linda Hanson said.

If Hanson wins, the city would need to have a special election.

And that is the only way to have a race with two living candidates on the ballot.

"We're not supporting or against anyone; we just want to make sure that voters have two choices," Hanson said.

The family says they are aware of the write in campaign, but they say it is not a fair election unless both names are on the ballot.

"It's just harder to get elected that way," Hanson said. "We want everyone to have a fair shot."

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