Voters get a little face time with candidates
A.J. Matthews and Joe Morcomb each had a case of voter remorse Thursday. The two young Duluth residents were seriously reconsidering their primary votes after meeting St. Louis County Commission candidates Chris Dahlberg and Bill Kron during the ...
A.J. Matthews and Joe Morcomb each had a case of voter remorse Thursday.
The two young Duluth residents were seriously reconsidering their primary votes after meeting St. Louis County Commission candidates Chris Dahlberg and Bill Kron during the second annual Fuse Duluth "speed candidating" event at the Radisson Hotel.
The event, which was modeled after speed dating, allowed voters to meet the candidates in a quick, informal setting where they could get beneath the candidates' campaign slogans and talking points.
"It takes them off their pedestal and put me into the fray," said Morcomb, who voted for Kron, the incumbent, on Sept. 9, but said he might have been swayed by Dahlberg's relative youth and "fresh perspective."
"I wanted to get a personal feel for the candidates instead of the prepackaged messages," said Matthews, who voted for Dahlberg in the primary, but said Kron's 32 years of experience and accomplishments changed her mind.
Matthews, who took notes while meeting the candidates, liked Thursday's 10-minute rotation of the candidates because she didn't have to worry about sitting through a lengthy forum or debate where her questions aren't answered.
"Young people vote, but they often just vote for president because they don't know the other candidates, and this gives them an opportunity to get to know them," said Breanne DeFoe, director of Fuse Duluth.
DeFoe introduced the candidates with something recreational, the last concert they attended or book they read, followed by something professional, their biggest priority if they get elected.
Dahlberg said he last rocked out at a Rob Zombie show, and he seeks more access to county government. Kron said he last jammed at the Simon and Garfunkel reunion show, while his expectation is to bring more jobs to the area.
Also involved in the speed candidating event were county commissioner candidates Sam Haddad, Peg Sweeney and Steve O'Neil and state representative candidates Roger Reinert, Jay Cole, Allan Kehr, Tom Huntley, Ryan Stauber, Steve Townsend and Mary Murphy.
"Going into this I didn't know the candidates, so it's nice to learn at least something," voter Lindsay Olson said.
The event also provided information on voter registration and where to cast your ballot.
There were papers informing voters what state representatives and county commissioners do in office.
"About 80 percent of our property taxes go to the St. Louis County budget," DeFoe said, "so getting to know your commissioners is very important."