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Kennedy mounts second bid for Duluth City Council seat

Although she won't formally announce her candidacy until April 23, Janet Kennedy made clear her intentions Friday to run for the Duluth City Council.

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At Large City Council candidate Janet Kennedy

Although she won't formally announce her candidacy until April 23, Janet Kennedy made clear her intentions Friday to run for the Duluth City Council.

The race will mark Kennedy's second bid for office. In 2015, she challenged 5th District Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle, garnering a little more than 43 percent of the popular vote but not enough to unseat the incumbent, who was re-elected.

Nevertheless, the experience whetted Kennedy's appetite for public service.

"It propelled me to realize that there are other voices that I know I've been working with, as far as moving forward issues in the city for all people," she said.

This time around, Kennedy will make her appeal to all of Duluth, not just those voters residing in the city's westernmost neighborhoods.

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"Many folks told me that they wished they could have voted for me," said Kennedy, a 54-year-old resident of West Duluth.

Kennedy, who has worked in the physical therapy field for about 25 years, serves on the Duluth Planning Commission and is a member of Mayor Emily Larson's Imagine Duluth 2035 Vision Committee. She's also one of the co-founders of the Cross-Cultural Alliance of Duluth.

"Over the last couple of years, through a lot of the work that I've been doing in the community personally and professionally, it became apparent that we need more inclusion and more folks like myself at the policy decision-making tables," she said.

"Our policy decisions affect everyone differently, and we make better decisions when we're all at the table," Kennedy said.

Kennedy will become the fifth candidate to enter the race for two At Large seats that will be up for grabs in November. Incumbent At Large Councilors Zack Filipovich and Barb Russ are both running for re-election, while challengers Jan Swanson, a 50-year-old Lincoln Park resident, and Rich Updegrove, a 40-year-old Hunters Park resident, launched their campaigns for one of the seats in March.

Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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