Our View: Duluth candidate forums are Monday, Tuesday
From the editorial: "Before casting any ballot, it’s good to be educated on the issues and candidates. The forums this coming week are valuable opportunities."
Voters in Duluth and the Northland have difficult, critical decisions to make. Their votes in the Nov. 8 election, with early voting already open, will impact state and local coffers for years to come, public safety across our region, and who we are and who we want to be.
Our very future is at stake.
To help, with reliable information straight from the candidates, the News Tribune and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, as we’ve done for over a decade, are partnering this fall to co-host a series of candidate and election forums. There’ll be sessions on the St. Louis County Sheriff’s race, legislative races in and near Duluth, and the parks levy question that will be on Duluthians’ ballots.
All candidates in the following races have committed to participate. The forums will be held in-person and will be open to the public at The Garden (formerly Grandma’s Sports Garden in Canal Park), 425 S. Lake Ave. The forums will also be video-recorded by the News Tribune and made available for viewing later, on-demand, at duluthnewstribune.com. The moderators will be News Tribune Editorial Page Editor Chuck Frederick and Daniel Fanning, vice president of strategy and policy for the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.
All the forums are being monitored by Civility Certified: Speak Your Peace , whose representatives will hand out fliers to participants and attendees, detailing expectations, including no campaign signs and no disruptive behavior like loud comments or shouting. As the flier states, “This is not a rally.” And, “The purpose of this forum is to educate voters about the candidates’ views.”
The forums will also help to inform the News Tribune Editorial Board’s endorsement decisions this fall.
Like the board, voters have important choices to make, and those selections made at polling places on Nov. 8 or earlier via absentee voting are what matter most. Before casting any ballot, it’s good to be educated on the issues and candidates. The forums this coming week are valuable opportunities, whether attending in-person or watching later online, to bone up and to be ready to vote. Lots of necessary, good information will be shared.
MONDAY, OCT. 3
8 a.m. — St. Louis County Sheriff candidates Jason Lukovsky of Fredenberg Township and Gordon Ramsay of Duluth will take the stage. Lukovsky is the current undersheriff, and Ramsay is the former police chief in Duluth and Wichita, Kansas.
9:30 a.m. — Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, parks officials, and others from City Hall will share information and answer questions about a ballot question to change Duluth’s Parks Fund levy, which was first approved by voters in 2011, from a fixed dollar amount of $2.6 million a year to a percentage of property value. The change would allow Parks Fund levy proceeds to grow over time.
TUESDAY, OCT. 4
8 a.m. — House District 8A incumbent DFL Rep. Liz Olson, 8A Republican challenger Art Johnston, House District 8B Republican Becky Hall, and House District 8B DFL candidate Alicia Kozlowski will take turns answering questions. District 8A covers roughly western Duluth while District 8B is roughly in eastern Duluth.
9:30 a.m. — Minnesota House District 3B DFL Rep. Mary Murphy of Hermantown and her Republican challenger Natalie Zeleznikar of Duluth will meet one-on-one.
11 a.m. — State Senate District 3 DFL candidate Grant Hauschild of Hermantown, Senate District 3 Republican Andrea Zupancich of Babbitt, Senate District 8 incumbent DFL Sen. Jen McEwen of Dulth, and Senate District 8 Republican Alex Moe of Duluth are scheduled. Senate District 3 is located just outside Duluth; Hauschild and Zupancich are vying to replace outgoing independent Sen. Tom Bakk. Senate District 8 covers Duluth.