Anderson, Hobbs won't run again for Duluth City Council
Two veteran councilors say they'll call it quits in local politics, for now.
DULUTH — Gary Anderson announced Wednesday afternoon that he will not seek reelection to his Duluth City Council seat representing several of the city's eastern neighborhoods, including Hunters Park, Morley Heights, Woodland, Lakeside and Lester Park.
Later the same day, at large City Councilor Noah Hobbs confirmed that he would not seek a return to office, as well. He had been appointed by the council to fill out Councilor Derek Medved's term, after his predecessor stepped down mid-term, due to other work responsibilities involved with his growing chain of convenience stores.
At the time of his appointment, Hobbs had pledged he would not run for the seat if selected to serve in place of Medved. Hobbs was elected to an at large seat in 2015 but failed to win a second term, losing to Medved, who he would later be tapped to temporarily replace in 2022.
"My word is my bond, and I wanted to get out and let folks know that I'm not running," Hobbs said.
Like Hobbs, Anderson was first elected in 2015 but won a second term in 2019. He cut his teeth in politics by successfully campaigning for Minnesotans United for All Families in 2012, a group that ushered in the right to same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
"It couldn't have been more exciting or more personal. I'm incredibly thankful for that opportunity, and every day I look at that wedding ring on my finger, I know it's something I'll be able to tell my grandkids about, that their grandpa did this work," Anderson said.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Anderson said: "It has been a great privilege to serve the people of the 1st District and the city of Duluth for the past eight years. The day-to-day support of residents in connecting with their local government was the nuts and bolts of my service."
Anderson made his political intentions known at the beginning of February in hopes that it would provide plenty of room for a prospective successor to step forward.
"The job really can have an impact on the community, and it also requires a lot of sacrifice. So, whoever decides that they want to run for the seat needs to be thoughtful and intentional about it, and I encourage them to be so, because they need to be prepared to do the work if they're elected," he said.
During his tenure, Anderson has served as council president, and chair of the personnel committee, as well as the public safety committee, most recently where he championed the drive to create and fund a Community Crisis Response Team, tasked with providing emergency support to people dealing with mental health and substance-abuse challenges.
Hobbs also ascended to the council presidency for two terms during his service.
"Ir has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Duluth as a city councilor for six years," Hobbs said. "I'll forever cherish the relationships I've made, the stories you've shared with me and the work we completed together to make our community better."
"I'm very proud of the work we have completed over the course of my service. I'm proud of working to modernize our city ordinances, working to make our streets safer and increasing funding into our core services," he said.
This story was updated at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 with additional quotes and information on Noah Hobbs. It was originally posted at 1:19 p.m. Feb. 1.