Witherspoon to seek 4th District seat on Duluth City Council

Incumbent Hannah Alstead will not seek reelection.

Salaam Witherspoon_2023
Duluth City Hall.
Clint Austin / 2017 file / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH β€” Community organizer Salaam Witherspoon has announced her candidacy for the 4th District seat on the City Council. The district includes the Lincoln Park, Piedmont Heights and Duluth Heights neighborhoods.

Witherspoon, who lives in Lincoln Park, announced her plans in a news release and during an event at The Caddy Shack on Saturday. Incumbent Hannah Alstead, who was appointed to the nine-member council in July after the death of Councilor Renee Van Nett, said in March she will not seek reelection.

Witherspoon, who was born and raised in Duluth, spent a year homeless with her infant son, the news release said. The mother of two children, Witherspoon earned her associate's degree at Lake Superior College and is a community outreach specialist with Wealth Entrepreneurship Economic Sustainability.

β€œAs the youngest of 11 children, I learned young that we have to take care of each other,” she said in the news release. β€œI know what it’s like to feel powerless, and I know what it’s like to regain my dignity. I not only want to represent District 4, I want the people of this district to realize how much power they have, as well as how much better we will do if we work together. It only works if we all do it.”

In other council races:


  • Jenna Yeakle and Ashlie Castaldo are running for at large seats. Incumbents Arik Forsman and Noah Hobbs plan to step down at the end of the year.
  • Wendy Durrwachter announced her candidacy for the 1st District last week. Two-term Councilor Gary Anderson said he won't seek reelection.
  • Councilor Roz Randorf plans to seek another term in the 3rd District.
  • President Janet Kennedy plans to seek reelection to the 5th District. Ginka Tarnowski hopes to unseat her.

Katie Rohman has served as the managing editor of the Duluth News Tribune since 2019. She started with Duluth Media Group in 2017 as regional editor of the Superior Telegram, Pine Journal, Lake County News-Chronicle, Eastern Observer and Western Weekly. She has worked in newspapers around the Midwest since 2004.
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