Spring Park voters also elected a dead guy to their city council
John Ericson (pictured) died November 3, but still defeated Elgah Trask (upper left) by a more than two-to-one margin.
City of Spring Park
Last week, we told you about Denny Hanson's sentimental election as Rochester's City Council president five months after he died.
Turns out he wasn't the only dead guy elected to city office in Minnesota this campaign cycle. In Spring Park -- a town tucked in the middle of Lake Minnetonka -- voters elected John Ericson for city council three days after his unexpected death.
Ericson, a 75-year-old lifelong resident of Lake Minnetonka, whomped on Elgah Trask by a more than two-to-one margin, winning 459 of the votes compared to 193 for Trask. But unfortunately, following his sudden death, his election is meaningless, as the Spring Park City Council will simply appoint a member to sit in Ericson's seat.
Ericson died unexpectedly two days before Election Day, leaving behind a wife, five children, a small army of grand kids and an open city council chair.
"It was very sudden, and we were all surprised," Spring Park Mayor Sara Reinhardt said. "John had served as a planning commissioner for several years, and he did a great job. We were all looking forward to him joining the city council."
Under normal circumstances a special election would be held to fill the seat, but Ericson's race was already a special election--being run after Tom Scanlon stepped down as council member last year.
Mayor Reinhardt said the city has been in regular contact with the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office and has been advised that the city council should make an appointment, rather than conduct another special election.
"We've been told that an appointment is the appropriate action to take in this situation," Reinhardt said. "Not to mention how costly it would be for a city our size to hold another election for one position. The turnout would be very low."
Spring Park City Administrator Dan Tolsma said the city would likely begin taking applications in the next few weeks from those interested in the position. From there, the final selection would be based on a majority vote by the city council.
Makes you wonder whether Spring Park voters cast ballots for Ericson as a posthumous tribute, or whether they just hadn't heard about his death when they went to vote last Tuesday.
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