LINDSTROM, Minn. - A familiar name won re-election to his seat on the Lindstrom City Council.
Only one thing stands in the way of him serving: He's dead.
Incumbent Joe Wishy drew 558 votes despite the fact he passed away on September 30 at the age of 81 following a long battle with cancer. Deputy City Clerk Kathy George says at that point it was too late to take Wishy's name off the list of six candidates, of which the top two vote-getters would win seats.
George says balloting may have been a factor in Wishy's re-election, perhaps people just didn't widely know of Joe's passing, or maybe they really liked him and just wanted to vote for him. Whatever the case, Wishy came in second to Kevin Stenson, who collected 1,358 votes. A total of 2,051 people visited Lindstrom's polling places Tuesday.
Wishy was a fantastic guy, George recalls, who loved Lindstrom and was a tireless champion of the city's parks. He also loved and owned classic cars, especially T-birds. He served on the Lindstrom City Council for 12 years after moving to the small community from the Twin Cities.
State law mandates that if there are two years or less remaining on a vacant term the council can appoint someone to fill the seat, or hold a special election. Since Wishy's new term is four years a special election must be held, perhaps on February 14.
That date would only make since, because Lindstrom has already scheduled a special election for that day to fill a seat in the state legislature after a candidate who had already been disqualified due to residency issues won his election anyway.