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Swapinski fires back at Jaros over voting record

The gloves are off in the District 7B state house race, which has two incumbents going after one seat. Rep. Dale Swapinski, running as the Independence Party candidate, has criticized remarks made by his DFL opponent Rep. Mike Jaros. With redistr...

The gloves are off in the District 7B state house race, which has two incumbents going after one seat.

Rep. Dale Swapinski, running as the Independence Party candidate, has criticized remarks made by his DFL opponent Rep. Mike Jaros.

With redistricting, the city's new political map left Swapinski and Jaros with the same geography -- west and central Duluth -- for the upcoming election.

Jaros got the DFL endorsement, but Swapinski said he wasn't ready to quit. After Swapinski announced he was entering the race as an Independence Party candidate, Jaros voiced some surprise.

Jaros said that Swapinski did not vote to override Gov. Ventura's veto of the bonding bill, which included Duluth projects such as work on the Aerial Lift Bridge, improvements to Lake Superior College and a low-income dental clinic.

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Jaros said he was surprised Swapinski went along with Ventura's cuts in education and local government aid.

Swapinski responded that that was inaccurate and said to the contrary, he had voted against cuts in pre-K, K-12 and higher education. He said he had voted for the bonding bill and the House never had the opportunity to vote to override the governor's veto.

He and Jaros were on separate sides on a budget resolution. "It was a band-aid approach," Swapinski said. "Jaros voted for the budget resolution, which contained cuts for all levels of education. He voted for it, I voted against it.

"Why is Jaros lying about my record."

Swapinski said he was surprised to see that approach from a seasoned political veteran.

Jaros remarks were in response to questions following Swapinski's announcement that he would be a candidate.

Swapinski had said that after 30 years it was time for Jaros to go. Jaros was first elected in 1972 and has served 13 nonconsecutive terms.

Jaros also pointed out that Swapinski was now part of Gov. Ventura's party, the same governor who had vetoed community projects.

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Marcia Hales is seeking the District 7B seat as a Republican.

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