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Raddant to challenge Schultz for House seat

Dylan Raddant will challenge incumbent District 7A Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, for office on the Republican ticket this fall. The 21-year-old Endion resident works as an overnight retail stocker in Hermantown and said: "The reason why I en...

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Dylan Raddant (left), Jennifer Schultz

Dylan Raddant will challenge incumbent District 7A Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, for office on the Republican ticket this fall.

The 21-year-old Endion resident works as an overnight retail stocker in Hermantown and said: "The reason why I entered the race was because I'm an advocate for change."

Raddant, who is in the process of transitioning from male to female, said she would bring a new and valuable point of view to the Legislature.

"I think I have a lot of perspectives I can bring to the table, especially the LGBT perspective, being a trans(gender) individual, I think it's very important that we include every individual, because remember: The Republican party was a party that was formed on civil progress. We also talk a lot about financial accountability, and I am an individual. I am the chick who wants to defend those standards ... limiting one's debt, balancing the budget and returning the surplus to all of our citizens of Duluth."

Raddant aims to dispel the notion that the Republican party is somehow exclusionary, and said: "I want to bring this party to the 21st century in terms of social progress."

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She noted that the party has a rich history of advocating for people's rights.

"The Republican party was founded as a means of establishing abolitionism back in 1856, and it spent a century developing a civil rights platform," Raddant said.

As a fiscal conservative, she questioned the proposed use of a state bonding bill to fund the restoration of the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth.

"Why would taxpayers need to pay $26 million for a project that can essentially be funded by private donors and has little purpose to the taxpayers of Duluth other than as a landmark?" she asked.

Raddant pledged problem-solving results.

"My motto is: If it's broke, fix it," she said.

Raddant said she wants "to bring awareness to some of the problems that I see, such as infrastructure, the lack of business coming into Duluth and stuff like that. I think with a broken system, it has to be fixed."

Her newly launched campaign marks her second effort to seek election to political office. In April 2015, she unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Superior School Board.

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Other Northland candidates who filed for office Tuesday with the Minnesota Secretary of State include:

  • Liz Olson, DFL-Duluth, running for the House District 7B seat
  • Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, running for the Senate District 7 seat
  • Donna Bergstrom, R-Duluth, running for the Senate District 7 seat
  • David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, seeking re-election to his Senate District 6 seat
  • Sandy Layman, R-Cohasset, running for the House District 5B seat

  Candidates file in four St. Louis County board races
Four of St. Louis County’s seven county commissioner seats are up for election this year, including two where the incumbent is not running for re-election.
In District 3 that covers the western third of Duluth, incumbent Chris Dahlberg is not running. Kim McKay of the Piedmont neighborhood filed Tuesday. McKay, 50, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 1 seat in 2002, 2004 and 2006 before moving west in the city, is a cab driver on the night shift.
“I’m running because of all the problems I see out there every night that no one seems willing to address,’’ she said, citing expanding drug use and an overwhelmed social services system. “When kids are finding needles in the park, we need to address these issues.”
Beth Olson, a community advocate and executive director of the First Witness Child Advocacy Center, announced in February and filed Tuesday. Mike Jaros, a former state lawmaker, also has announced but has not yet filed for the seat.
In District 7 - which covers Hibbing, Chisholm, Floodwood, Meadowlands and the southwestern townships of the county - longtime incumbent Steve Raukar is not running. On Tuesday Michael Jugovich of Chisholm filed for the seat. He currently serves as mayor. Also filing was Jeff Polcher, a Hibbing school board member. Melissa Scaia, a domestic violence advocate from Hibbing, has announced but not yet filed for the seat.
In District 2, which covers eastern Duluth, incumbent Patrick Boyle was the only candidate to file on the first day. So far no other candidates have announced their intention to run.
In District 5, which covers Proctor, Hermantown and the townships that wrap around Duluth, incumbent Pete Stauber was the only candidate to file. No others have announced their intention to run for the seat.

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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