Dead Minnesota City Council president wins re-election

Published On: Nov 08 2012 06:02:57 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 08 2012 06:01:00 AM CST

The president of the Rochester City Council has won re-election -- even though he's been dead for four months.

The late Dennis Hanson won 51 percent of the vote Tuesday, defeating a challenger and a write-in candidate.

Hanson filed for re-election in May but died of a brain aneurysm in June. State law prohibited his name from being taken off the ballot. Hanson's supporters say they campaigned on his behalf to give voters a new election with a choice of candidates.

Rochester now will have a special election, likely in early April, to fill Hanson's seat.

John Eckerman, who led the Hanson campaign, tells the Post-Bulletin it was never about a "sympathy vote" but was instead about giving voters a choice.

Hanson had been council president since 2008.