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Tomsk Mayoral Race Becomes Battle of the Rich

A businessman who made it onto Forbes' top-1,000 international richlist will run to become mayor of the Siberian city of Tomsk.

The mayoral post has been vacant since Nikolai Nikolaichuk resigned July 22 after months of open conflict with the Tomsk region's governor, Sergei Zhvachkin.

Gleb Fetisov, who owns 14 percent of telecommunications investment company Altimo, is ranked the world's 792nd richest man by Forbes with a fortune of $1.9 billion. He will represent the Green Alliance — People's Party, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

The election will be held on Oct. 13.

Many see Fetisov as the main rival to Ivan Klein, who pulled 92 percent of the votes from the region's branch of the United Russia party.

Klein has been the CEO of Tomsk Beer since 1995. He owns 51 percent of the the company's shares, while members of his family own another 40 percent.

The company's revenues exceeded 3 billion rubles ($90 million) in 2012, while its net profit was 707 million rubles, Spark-Interfax reported.

"I've grown into the roots of Tomsk, and I will do everything to make our city become more beautiful and comfortable," RIA Novosti quoted Klein as saying.

Tomsk's Elections Commission has already registered a total of 11 mayoral candidates.

Klein has until the Sept. 5 deadline to submit his registration.

Tomsk has a population of over 550,000 people and is known as one of Russia's main scientific and educational centers, with 20 percent of the population being students at Tomsk's six universities.

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