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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Kim Norton to run for Rochester mayor

Kim Norton to run for Rochester mayor

After months of speculation, former state legislator Kim Norton officially announced her candidacy for Rochester mayor on Monday.

In doing so, Norton immediately becomes the front-runner in a race that already has three declared — but lesser known — candidates. 

"I believe my experienced leadership will be beneficial to our community during this time of growth and change," she said.

Norton represented Rochester as a Democrat in the Minnesota House from 2007 to 2017. She held leadership positions in her caucus, including assistant majority and minority leader — and played an integral role in pushing through the Destination Medical Center legislation. 

"As someone who uniquely understands the DMC initiative and who worked to assure that the City of Rochester remained at the helm of this ambitious economic development and city improvement plan, I am committed to making certain that the outcome is good not only for Mayo Clinic and the business community, but also is developed with the interests of Rochester citizens as a primary consideration," said Norton.

For the past two years, Norton has been completing a Bush Fellowship in public policy and leadership. The proud "grammy of two" received a graduate degree at University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a concentration in leadership and energy policy/research.

Norton, who served on the Rochester School Board prior to her House run in 2006, has remained active in the community since her departure from partisan politics — including supporting grassroots efforts to encourage more women to get involved in community leadership. 

"We have been long known as a city that is caring and welcoming to visitors from around the world," she said Monday. "We now have the opportunity to develop a sustainable physical, economic, and cultural environment that offers a world class city center for all of our local citizens."

If elected, Norton would become the first woman to serve as mayor in Rochester's 164-year history. Incumbent Mayor Ardell Brede announced earlier this year that he would be retiring at the end of his fourth term.

Back in 2015, we talked with Norton about her thoughts on the position. She told us, "I hope as Rochester grows, the mayoral position will grow as well." You can hear the full podcast here.

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