Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester's long history of non-partisan elections for local offices is apparently about to change.

Under state election laws, once a city obtains status as a City of First Class when its population officially exceeds 100,000 residents, the introduction of party politics into elections for positions on the City Council becomes optional. Unlike Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, which have long listed the party affiliations of candidates in elections, the Rochester City Council voted to retain the city's non-partisan tradition even after the U.S. Census pegged Rochester's population at about 106,000 in 2010.


While that hasn't changed, Olmsted County Democrats are moving to directly support candidates for Rochester City Council President and one of the City Council positions up for election this year. An email sent out to the candidates by Olmsted County DFL Party Chair William Harvey that was obtained by KROC News invites them to apply for Letters of Support from the party.

KROC-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

It would not qualify as a formal endorsement and the party affiliation would not be listed on the ballot, but the email states the Letter of Support would grant the candidate access to the Democratic party's VAN Votefile, which is described as a comprehensive database on voters, including their voting history and demographic information. Candidates granted a Letter of Support from the party would also be able advertise it and have the option of being included on sample ballots sent to Democrat voters.

Californians Head To The Polls For Early Voting Ahead Of Super Tuesday
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

According to the email, Olmsted County DFL Party leaders plan to consider requests from candidates for the Rochester City Council President's position and candidates seeking the Second Ward seat after hearing presentations from the interested candidates on Tuesday evening.


Urgent: Minnesotans Warned Not to Travel to These 19 Places

Most people are busy planning summer vacations. Before you go, book any trips look at 19 travel warnings issued by the United States and why you may want to reconsider your destination.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

More From KROC-AM