SIOUX FALLS, SD -
He was a self-proclaimed hobo and a mayoral candidate for the people.
Janoct Ajda, who ran twice for Sioux Falls mayor, died unexpectedly over the weekend.
Ajda wasn't fueled by money. He didn't want power. He just thought he could make the City of Sioux Falls better.
"One thing we can't get along with is this rhetoric and stuff that's going on,” Ajda explained during a 2010 mayoral debate. “If I'm your mayor, I'm going to change it because I'm married to this city. I have no woman. This is my wife; this city and the people of it.”
The two-time mayoral candidate died suddenly Sunday at the age of 64. His mother, Qadhosh Ajda, said Tuesday that her son had been battling strep throat and severe vomiting in the weeks leading up to his death.
"He was my pride and joy. He was a good son, but he'd had his issues with what's going on in the city. He was really interested in it," Qadhosh Ajda said.
Ajda only garnered 156 votes and one $35 donation - which he spent on a tank of gas - during his last campaign for mayor in 2010.
A painting from a friend depicting him as mayor still sits in the middle of his central Sioux Falls home. Ajda's mother says his friends still called him "mayor." She also says he was planning to run for mayor again in the upcoming election.
"He ran for mayor in 2006, 2010, and he was going to run again in 2014," Qadhosh Ajda said.
But Ajda's mother won't only remember her son for his political activism; she also remembers how he would help out anyone in need including a friend who was having car problems earlier this fall.
"He just told him, 'You just buy the parts. I'll do the job,' and that's what he did. That's the kind of person he was," Qadhosh Ajda said.
A person who loved Sioux Falls and the people who lived in the city.
"He loved people. He wanted things to be right but a lot of people didn't understand him I don't think," Qadhosh Ajda said.
Ajda was named "Hobo King" during the annual Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, in 2000. He's originally from California and moved to Sioux Falls in 1996.
Ajda's funeral is Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Miller Funeral Chapel in downtown Sioux Falls.
Ajda was a regular at M.B. Haskett Delicatessen in downtown Sioux Falls. The business is raising money to help pay for the 64 year old's funeral costs.
Watch the 2010 Mayoral Forum that Ajda took part in in the video player below.
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