Forsman becomes third Duluth city councilor to not seek reelection

The at large councilor looks forward to spending more quality time with his young family.

Arik Forsman.jpg
Arik Forsman

DULUTH — At large City Councilor Arik Forsman announced Wednesday he will step down at the end of this year.

He is the third member of the Duluth City Council to make known that they will leave a seat open in the upcoming November election. At large Councilor Noah Hobbs and 1st District Councilor Gary Anderson preceded Forsman in their decisions to not seek another term.

Two veteran councilors say they'll call it quits in local politics, for now.

With the mayor’s race also in play this year, the coming election cycle could have a significant impact on the face of city politics. So far, Mayor Emily Larson has announced plans to seek a third term, but a challenger has emerged: Roger Reinert, former state legislator and city councilor.

“I feel that elections start too soon in Duluth,” Forsman said.

Nevertheless, he said he felt it was important to make his intentions known well in advance of voting day.


“I hope folks understand that they don’t have to rush to a decision. But I also felt like it was important that I not delay this decision unnecessarily, to give people some time to consider running, while understanding that serving in an at large seat is a big job. You’ve got more constituents than a state senator does,” he said.

Forsman was appointed to serve out the remainder of Elissa Hansen’s term in 2018, after she relinquished her seat to take a new job as president and CEO of Northspan Group Inc. He was subsequently elected to the post in 2019.

By a 5-3 vote Monday night, the Duluth City Council picked Arik Forsman to serve out the remainder of At Large City Councilor Elissa Hansen's term. Forsman, a 30-year-old working in the field of regional economic development for Minnesota Power/A...

In 2022, Forsman was elected council president.

Forsman said that while he deeply values the idea of public service, “so is being available for all the memories that my kids are making.”

Forsman lives in Duluth’s Kenwood neighborhood with his wife, Jessica, and their children, Amelia and Arlo.

“They were lobbying me hard that it was time to take a break,” he said of his children. “Actually, I let them push the button to send the press release this morning.”

Forsman said he looks forward to spending more time with his young family.

“I don’t want to just fill a spot. I’m sort of an all-in person. So, if I do something, it’s not just to fill a spot and show up for a couple of meetings a month. It’s much more involved than that. And I wanted to make sure that if I couldn’t meet my own personal standard, that I wasn’t continuing on just to continue on,” he said.


The most senior city councilors who have not yet announced their intentions regarding the coming election are Council President Janet Kennedy and 3rd District Councilor Roz Randorf, who both took office in 2020.

“I think the councilors who are coming back next year are more than capable. I’ve enjoyed working with them all. So, I’ll be there to support them and cheer them on from the sidelines,” Forsman said.

“Quite frankly, I think whoever is elected mayor needs a council that will push them and challenge them in healthy ways. So, hopefully we get some diversity of candidates,” he said.

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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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