Fifth candidate enters race for at large Duluth City Council seat

Therese Wisocki hopes to improve public safety, revitalize downtown Duluth and rein in taxes.

head shot of woman
Therese Wisocki

DULUTH ― Therese Wisocki has announced her intention to run for one of two at large City Council positions that will be up for grabs in November.

The retired telecommunications professional is the fifth candidate to enter the race, meaning that a primary is now anticipated in order to narrow the field to four before the general election.

Wisocki, who was born and raised in Duluth, has not run for office previously but said, “I’ve just noticed a lot of changes over the past few years that are really disturbing to me. And I feel like this is my opportunity to maybe get in and somehow make some changes and make a difference.”

“What actually got me started on this was when I got my property tax bill in December,” she said, noting that it prompted her to attend City Council and St. Louis County Board meetings to better understand what was going on in local government. “I felt like there wasn’t the transparency or maybe the best use of our money from listening.”

“From my experience, I’d say there are always ways to streamline and cut back,” Wisocki said. “Over my life, I’ve been very good at that. And I think that’s a strength I can bring to the council.”


But Wisocki said taxes are far from her only concern. She also voiced a desire to improve Duluth’s downtown.

“People tell me, ‘I’m afraid to go downtown.’ And it shouldn’t be that way. Our downtown should be a place where there’s commerce and entertainment and people shouldn’t be fearful about going there,” she said.

University of Minnesota Duluth plans to bring clinical research and education to the Medical District with a new facility. The university is also pursuing Lot D for a new water-research facility.

In terms of making Duluth’s downtown more vibrant, Wisocki said public safety concerns must be addressed. “Unless it feels like a safe area, we can’t revitalize it. It’s not going to happen.”

Wisocki hopes to focus on job creation, too, but primarily in sectors that will offer workers better wages.

“It seems like the focus is all on tourism jobs, which tend to be very low-paying jobs,” she said.

Other candidates who have already announced plans to enter the at large City Council race include Miranda Pacheco , Ashlie Castaldo , Lynn Marie Nephew and Jenna Yeakle .

Two at large incumbents, Arik Forsman and Noah Hobbs, previously declared their intentions to step down at the end of this year.

This story originally omitted one of the candidates for the at large seat. It was updated at 11:39 a.m. April 24 with Miranda Pacheco's name. The News Tribune regrets the error.


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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