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Santa Claus wins seat on North Pole City Council

By Ben Hooper

To my friends in North Pole, Alaska: This Tuesday, please write me in on your election ballot and vote for me for North Pole City Council at North Pole City Hall. Thank you :-)}

Posted by Santa Claus on Sunday, October 4, 2015

NORTH POLE, Alaska, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The city of North Pole, Alaska, announced a man named Santa Claus will serve on the City Council after receiving 58 write-in votes for the seat.

The city, which boasts a population of about 2,200, announced the results of the Oct. 6 election Tuesday with Sana Claus -- who legally changed his name from Thomas Patrick O'Connor -- leading the three write-in candidates with 58 votes.

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Claus, former president of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce, launched his campaign just two weeks before the election after local officials revealed no candidates had filed to be on the ballot.

Elyse Dawson, whose write-in campaign started even closer to the election, also earned a seat on the council with 29 votes.

"It was a godsend," North Pole City Clerk Kathy Weber told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "I'm really happy with the candidates we did get. I think Santa Claus and Elyse Dawson will be great."

The third-place finisher, La Nae Bellamy, received 26 write-in votes and there were 47 write-in ballots cast for other candidates, who Weber said each received one or two votes.

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Santa Claus thanked his supporters on Facebook before the results were announced.

"Today, I'm feeling rich and blessed. Although the final election results won't be announced until next week, I am very grateful that you supported me in my campaign for North Pole City Council. The Facebook and news media coverage was tremendous -- locally, nationally, and internationally. Thank you for your love, support, and blessings!" he wrote.

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