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Howe win triggers special mayoral election

Thought election season was over? Not quite -- at least not in Red Wing.

John Howe's successful bid for the District 28 Senate seat means he'll be vacating the mayor's office in January and the city must hold a special election to find his successor.

While no one has publicly announced their candidacy, a couple of familiar names have admitted they've eyed the post.

"I have considered it because I feel like it's a natural step," City Council President Mike Schultz told the R-E Thursday.

Schultz said he has not decided whether he'll run.

Howe was able to use the mayor's office as a springboard to the state Senate. Asked if he had similar aspirations, Schultz said he wouldn't rule out a run at state office, but he said his focus would be on Red Wing first.

Howe's opponent in the 2008 mayor's race, Stan Nerhaugen, said he's given the idea some thought.

"I'm seriously considering it. I'll leave it at that," Nerhaugen said Friday.

On election night, At-large City Council candidate Dustin Schulenberg said he might give the idea some thought but hasn't committed to anything.

Meanwhile Council member Dean Hove said Thursday rumors of his interest in the mayor's office were false.

"No," Hove said. "There would have to be some very extreme circumstances for me to consider that."

The citywide special election could cost the city $25,000, according to estimates by the city clerk. The estimates are based on Red Wing's 2008 special election.

If a sitting council member became mayor there would be a need for another special election. A special election for a single ward would cost the city $11,000.