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Our view: Strong candidates needed in Duluth

Today's the day. If you have skills and knowledge to benefit our community and were even considering a run for School Board or City Council, today is the day to take that leap and to toss your name into consideration. The deadline for filing for ...

Today's the day. If you have skills and knowledge to benefit our community and were even considering a run for School Board or City Council, today is the day to take that leap and to toss your name into consideration. The deadline for filing for the Sept. 10 primary election and the Nov. 5 general election is 4:30 p.m. today in the City Clerk's office in Duluth City Hall.

Strong, sincere candidates always are necessary. True community leaders are needed to step forward, men and women of intellect and passion and common sense, men and women willing to stick their necks out there, willing to take their turn as public servants, willing to share their skills and their knowledge -- for the good of their communities.

This time the need is for good, solid candidates to vie for four seats on the City Council and four seats on the School Board.

Not that some good candidates haven't already stepped forward, but there's definitely room for more.

As of noon Monday, nurse practitioner Patrick Boyle was unopposed in District 2, where he's the incumbent city councilor, and Web developer and blogger Howie Hanson was unopposed in the council's 4th District, where Garry Krause currently is the councilor. Krause, an academic dean at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, has indicated a desire to seek another term but is taking his time to file.

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Meanwhile, six candidates already have filed for two open At Large City Council seats. Incumbents Dan Hartman and Jim Stauber aren't seeking re-election. Hoping to replace them are Zack Filipovich, an accountant; Eric Meyer, a 2012 University of Minnesota Duluth graduate; former Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Barb Russ; retired corrections officer Ray "Skip" Sandman; Ryan Stauber, an emergency communication specialist for St. Louis County 911 and Jim Stauber's son; and carpenter, combat vet and libertarian Ray Whitledge III.

In the At Large race for School Board, incumbents Mary Cameron and Tom Kasper aren't running again. That leaves Joshua Bixby; Annie Harala, who works in schools to promote healthy choices; and longtime community activist Henry L. Banks vying for two open seats.

In the 1st District, where incumbent School Board member Ann Wasson isn't running again, labor representative Joseph Matthes and reading tutor Rosie Loeffler-Kemp had filed as of noon yesterday. And in the 4th District, incumbent Art Johnston, an engineer; DFL field organizer Justin Perpich; and research biologist David Bolgrien are the candidates.

The News Tribune isn't endorsing any of them, not yet, not with a full day left for candidates with much to offer and a willingness to give back to emerge. Strong candidates are needed any time there's an open post. Voters need legitimate choices. And like other elected bodies, the Duluth School Board and Duluth City Council need high-quality, effective leaders to make critical public decisions.

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