Deceased Rochester council president candidate remains on the ballot

Rochester voters will face an unusual decision in next month’s election.

Denny Hanson had filed to run for re-election as Rochester City Council president in June, but died later in the month of a brain aneurysm.

Because the ballot deadline had passed, state law requires that his name stay on the ballot.

Also on the ballot is Jan Throndson, and Jeff Thompson is running a write-in campaign.

Should Hanson win, there would be a special election, and other candidates are likely to emerge.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin this week declined to make any endorsement in the race, saying: “So the choice is clear — not easy, but clear: Throndson, Thompson or starting over from scratch.”

Wrote the paper’s editorial staff:

It’s an impossible situation for nearly everyone involved — impossible and unfair. Throndson has no choice but to campaign as if he’s unopposed, even though he is not. Thompson didn’t have any interest in unseating Hanson, but suddenly his options were to sit on the sidelines and hope for a special election, or wage a last-minute write-in campaign. Meanwhile, the Hanson family is in limbo, trying to do what they think is best for the city and the ideals that Denny represented. 

We will make no endorsement in this race.

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