Dick Franson, a perennial candidate for public office, died last week at age 86.
It’s estimated that he was on the ballot about 30 times over the years, running for such posts as U.S. Senate, governor, secretary of state and mayor of Minneapolis.
He did win once; he was elected an alderman in Minneapolis in 1963, but lost his reelection bid two years later to Arne Carlson, who’d later become governor.
Franson’s obituary says he “retired as a Chief Appraiser for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Richard spent twenty years in the military retiring as an Army First Sergeant (E8). He served in South Korea with U.S. Army and South Vietnam as a Navy SeaBee.”
Franson told MinnPost’s Doug Grow in 2009 that he was optimistic he could win the secretary of state’s race the next year:
“Listen, I can win this race. With the help of the American Legion newspaper, I can do it. I’ll start running some half-page ads in the paper next month.”
He told Grow in that 2009 interview that he’d keep running, despite spending thousands of dollars on his losing campaigns:
“I’ll run until I’m a hundred, and if I live longer than that, I’ll run until I leave this world. I enjoy it. I’ve got a message, and my fax machine still is humming away. The key thing you learn in military leadership is that you never get discouraged. And I tell you, I think this last race [where he got 3.5 percent of the first choice votes in ranked voting] went really well.”
There will be a visitation for Franson Thursday, 10-11 a.m., with a service at 11 a.m. at Bradshaw (McDivitt-Hauge), 3131 Minnehaha Ave. So., Mpls., with interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.