Posted at: 09/20/2012 9:25 PM
Updated at: 09/20/2012 10:13 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen
Write-In Challenger Appears For Rochester’s City Council President Position
(ABC 6 News) -- Three months after former Rochester City Council president Dennis Hanson's death, the election for that position is heating up. State laws prevented anyone from running for Hanson's old position but that hasn't stopped one Rochester man from trying to be a write-in candidate.
Long time Rochester resident, Jeff Thompson, is campaigning as a write-in candidate and actually helped Dennis Hanson win the City Council President job back in 2004. He tells us his campaign is about giving people another option in November.
If you're driving south on Broadway or taking West Circle Drive in Rochester, you may spot Jeff Thompson's billboards.
"I just didn't like the idea of one person winning by default," says Thompson. He admits there's going to be a challenge as a write-in candidate, but says settling the matter now would save more than $60,000 tax dollars for a second election next spring.
"My thinking is, whoever wants to run, why don't you run right now instead of spending all this money for a special election," says Thompson.
"The people need a choice, they need the two people on the ballots so they can choose," says Dennis Hanson's wife, Linda. She and other members of Hanson’s family are continuing to campaign for Dennis and want him to win so people can re-file for the City Council President position. Linda says she'd rather have a special election than risk it on write-in votes.
"As a write-in, it is more difficult," says Linda. "What we're doing now is the right thing, it's want Dennis would want us to do."
"Someone can do a write-in campaign if they so choose. That is the American way and I do not worry about that," says the other ballot candidate, Jan Throndson. He’s not worried about competition and says his focus is learning about the community, and sharing his vision.
"I'm just going to worry about my campaign and move my campaign forward," says Throndson.
"Competition's a good thing. I'm a believer in competition, free enterprise, and that's how this election should be," says Thompson.
With the two large billboards and dozens of yard signs, there's clearly a reason to believe November's election won't be a win by default. Thompson expects more people to run as write-in candidates. He says there's plenty of time to campaign from now until November.