The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 11, 2012

Outgoing councilors talk election, future

Write-in candidate says he’ll run again

MANKATO — The two close races for Mankato’s City Council were near-perfect reversals of the contests four years ago.

City Council President Mike Laven beat Chris Frederick 51 percent to 48 percent in 2008, but lost by the same figures last week. Likewise, Councilman Charlie Hurd beat Jason Mattick 52 percent to 46 percent in 2008, but lost 52 percent to 47 percent this year.

Laven hasn’t been doing much post-election analysis, but Hurd took to Facebook to give his take on why he lost.

“With redistricting, about 500 college-aged voters were added (to the 4th Ward). They looked at the literature from my opponent, and noticed that he looked more like them than me and voted for him. Being MSUM students, they weren’t able to read and critically think about the information presented in brochures,” he wrote.

He repeated that line of reasoning in a phone interview, saying college students haven’t lived in the community for a long time and don’t have a good handle on local issues.

He also wrote he was “one of the losers in the divisive Minnesota marriage debate” because people likely voted against him because he abstained or believed mistakenly that he voted for or against it.

“So, do I blame Republicans for bringing forth the amendment or the activist members of the City Council for forcing a vote on a state issue? Probably both. But ultimately, it is single-issue voters who show up at city council meetings, only once for their issue, and have ignored all the other issues that occur week after week,” he wrote.

Hurd didn’t think the election came down to his performance over six and a half years on the council.

“Obviously, I think I did a great job,” he said. Hurd said he hasn’t decided if he’ll run again.

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