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Nelson takes St. Louis County District 6 commissioner race; will face Matasich again

A close race for second between Matasich and Moren.

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Matt Matasich, left, and Keith Nelson
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DULUTH — The general election race for the St. Louis County Board District 6 commissioner seat will be between incumbent Keith Nelson and challenger Matt Matasich in November. Nelson and Matasich previously faced off for the seat in 2018, when Nelson defeated Matasich 57% to 42%.

Nelson, 64, of Fayal Township, has held the position for five consecutive terms. He faced challenges for this seat from Matasich, 62, of Virginia, and John Moren, 78, of Canyon, in the primary.

Keith Nelson, who began serving on the St. Louis County Board in 2003, is seeking his sixth term.

Nelson came in first with 2,706 votes, or 54% of votes cast. Matasich came in second with 1,220 votes (24%), and Moren in close third with 1,106 votes (22%), with 100% of the precincts reporting early Wednesday morning.

District 6 had 18,486 registered voters as of 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Nelson served the south-central part of the county since 2002. He previously stated that it has been "both an honor and a privilege to serve the people of St. Louis County." He declined to comment on the primary when reached by phone Tuesday night.


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John J. Moren

"I look forward to debating Mr. Nelson," Matasich said when reached by phone Wednesday morning. "He's beatable."

Matasich previously told the News Tribune that he was running with a platform proposal to split St. Louis County into two separate counties. He also said he wanted to go after the state of Minnesota for what he believes is lost revenue from the taconite production tax.

Moren previously stated that he ran for the seat after a Hermantown businessman asked him to do so. He also stated that he wanted to serve and be accountable to District 6 in order to "avoid taxation without representation." Moren also ran unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Senate in 2020.

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
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