City filings under way; names trickling in slowlyThose who plan to throw their hats in the ring for the local elections seem to be taking their time filing their intentions
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — While political attention is focused on national conventions and presidential campaigns, various cities in the area quietly opened the filing period for local positions such as mayor, councilman and alderman.
But those who plan to throw their hats in the ring for the local elections seem to be taking their time filing their intentions.
“It is not unusual for people to wait until the last few days,” said Jackson City Clerk Steve Walker. “I think in smaller towns they wait to see who else files and jockey for position.”
There are three council positions to fill in Jackson and no filings as of Thursday afternoon.
Filing opened Tuesday in Jackson and remains open until Sept. 9, as it does in most cities. There are exceptions, however. In Windom, the filing period opened Monday and remains so until Sept. 12.
“We have a city charter and go by the dates on the charter,” explained Windom Deputy City Clerk Denise Nichols.
Windom has open seats for two council wards and for a mayor. Nichols said current mayor Tom Riordan has indicated he will not run for the position.
So far, Councilman Kirby Kruse has filed for the mayoral seat; Corey Maricle has tossed a hat in the ring to represent Ward 1, Kruse’s former seat; and incumbent JoAnn Ray has filed for re-election for Ward 2. This leaves no open seats and no races, but there is still time.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Nichols said. “There is no such thing as typical. This year it was Monday and Tuesday when they filed.”
In the City of Slayton, where no one has yet filed, Slayton City Clerk Cathy Magnus echoed the sentiments of Walker, calling the slow response to the filing period “normal.”
“We usually don’t get anyone until one or two days before,” she admitted. “People wait around to see who does file.”
Two council members and a mayor seat are up for grabs in Slayton, but Magnus said she hasn’t received any indication of who plans to file. Current Mayor Chuck Ludolph, who is coming to the end of his first term, told the Daily Globe Thursday he has not yet decided whether or not he will run.
In Fulda, there are no filings, but that is more due to a paperwork snafu. Fulda City Clerk Michelle Baumhoefner said two people stopped in to inquire about filing, but her paperwork was from 2006 and needed to be updated.
Fulda Mayor Mary Magnus said she has every intention of filing again.
“I just haven’t gotten around to it yet,” she laughed.
In Worthington, there are three alderman positions open, but incumbent Bob Petrich of Ward 2 is the only one who has officially declared his intentions by filing.
“The last week is when you see a lot of activity,” Walker said. “Even in the last couple of hours before the deadline.”
Several cities that have primaries had a different filing period for city elections. In both Pipestone and Luverne, the period was in July.
In Luverne, C. Clyde Johnson is running against incumbent Andy Steensma for mayor, and a race in the South Ward is between incumbent Maynard Lefrenz and Scott Wessels. Esther Frakes will run for North Ward unopposed.
Pipestone has a three-way race for the mayoral seat that includes Jacqui Collins, Laurie Ness and incumbent Darrel Tinklenberg. In the open council positions, Fred Portz and incumbent Barbara Heyl have filed.