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Duluth School Board candidates advance in primary

Four candidates for two Duluth School Board seats advanced to November's general election after receiving the most votes in their races in Tuesday's primary.

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"I always vote," said Marilyn Gratto as she walked past the flag into the polling place at Holy Family Catholic Church Tuesday morning. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

Four candidates for two Duluth School Board seats advanced to November’s general election after receiving the most votes in their races in Tuesday’s primary.
David Kirby and Charles Obije were the top vote-getters in District 2 with 1,044 and 461 votes respectively, according to the city of Duluth’s unofficial tally, edging out Jane Hammerstrom Hoffman who received 275 votes in the district covering a portion of eastern Duluth. Board member Judy Seliga Punyko is not seeking re-election.
Renee VanNett and Alanna Oswald will move on to the general election for an At Large seat with 3,351 and 2,437 votes, respectively. Jim Unden was third with 1,708 votes. Board member Mike Miernicki is not seeking re-election. The At Large seat covers the entire city of Duluth, as well as Rice Lake, Lakewood, Normanna, Gnesen and North Star townships north of Duluth.
Obije said receiving less than half as many votes as Kirby shows that he still has work to do in District 2. He said he plans to continue to talk to residents in the district about his platform of collaboration.
“We started door-knocking when we kicked off the campaign and we’re going to continue to do that,” he said. “We’re celebrating and talking about the work we have to do going forward.”
Oswald received about 900 fewer votes than VanNett. Thanking residents who voted for her, Oswald said she’s happy to be moving on to the general election. She plans to continue to talk to as many residents as she can about her education, her knowledge and her ability to advocate for students and families, she said.
“I hope we can talk about the issues and make our school district more relevant to our families,” she said.
Kirby and VanNett didn’t immediately return phone calls for comment Tuesday night.
District 3 also will be on the November general election ballot, but with only two candidates - Loren Martell and Nora Sandstad - it didn’t have a primary election Tuesday. Bill Westholm is not seeking re-election in District 3.

Related Topics: SCHOOL BOARD
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