The race for Rochester mayor continues to widen.
Charlie O’Connell announced this week his intentions to campaign for the position. O’Connell works as a security intelligence specialist for Mayo Clinic while also serving as lieutenant colonel in the Minnesota National Guard. His nearly three decades of military service includes tours to Kosovo and Iraq.
“The role of mayor is pivotal in setting forth strategic direction and policies that enable Rochester’s success as it continues to grow and change," said O'Connell, who lives in Rochester with his wife and three children. "I believe my years of leadership, team building and thorough understanding of strategic and operational planning will enable me to add value as a member of Rochester’s leadership team and serve as a steady guide.”
O’Connell said his platform for mayor will focus on economic diversity, workforce development, affordable housing and "ensuring that Rochester remains a safe and secure city."
This will not be his first time running for office locally. Running as a Republican, O'Connell unsuccessfully challenged State. Rep. Tina Liebling in 2010 for a seat in the Minnesota House.
O'Connell joins four other candidates vying for Rochester's mayoral position. Former State Rep. Kim Norton, activist Regina Mustafa, musician and businessman Jordan Glynn, and entertainer B.W. Coggins have all announced bids. Incumbent Mayor Ardell Brede said in January he would not be seeking re-election this year. Brede has been in office since 2003.