Our election views in review
Over the last 34 days, dating back to Sept. 27, the News Tribune has offered 20 carefully considered, well-informed endorsement editorials for candidates and ballot questions. We also offered space for every candidate to write a column, his or he...
Over the last 34 days, dating back to Sept. 27, the News Tribune has offered 20 carefully considered, well-informed endorsement editorials for candidates and ballot questions. We also offered space for every candidate to write a column, his or her best pitch to voters. And we continue to provide column inches for your views via letters to the editor.
As determined by our editorial board, the newspaper threw its support behind 13 white guys this year, five women, five Republicans, nine DFLers and one American Indian candidate. No partisan picks here. We gave the nod in each race to who we considered the best candidate. Simple as that. And our editorials explained why. In all, we evaluated and considered 38 incumbents and challengers and three referendum questions.
Here’s a roundup of our recommendations. The full editorials - as well as videos of candidate forums and interviews - are posted at duluthnewstribune.com/opinion .
Your decisions are what count most, of course. Remember to vote on Nov. 8.
For 8th District U.S. Representative: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D
Nolan got semis off Superior Street and has been a consistent and unwavering supporter of mining, pipelines, veterans and more, even when it has meant butting heads with politics-as-usual Washington or his own party.
For Minnesota Senate District 3: Incumbent DFL Sen. Tom Bakk
One of the most powerful people in the Legislature, Bakk, the majority leader, is the Northland’s top mover and shaker in St. Paul. His priorities include fixing the funding formula for education to help struggling rural districts.
For Minnesota Senate District 5: Republican challenger Justin Eichorn
A political outsider with business savvy and sincere passion for the place he calls home, Eichorn promises to be a champion for education and an antidote to anti-mining DFLers in the Twin Cities.
For Minnesota Senate District 6: Incumbent DFL Sen. David Tomassoni
With refreshing optimism and a willingness to work across the aisle, Tomassoni can continue to stand up for the Iron Range, something he has done since first being elected in 1992.
For Minnesota Senate District 7: Republican Donna Bergstrom
The Minnesota Senate could use a Marine with military-intelligence expertise. With a wealth of research and knowledge, strong positions, even stronger leadership experience, and an impressive resume, Bergstrom is prepared and ready to replace Sen. Roger Reinert.
For Minnesota Senate District 11: DFL Sen. Tony Lourey
An architect of MNsure, Lourey is probably the most qualified to go back to St. Paul to fix the embattled legislation. After re-electing him, voters can hold him accountable for getting the job done.
For Minnesota House District 3A: DFL Rep. Rob Ecklund
Ecklund is committed to making the Legislature work better, not for his party or special interests, but for Minnesotans. His wife is a teacher in International Falls, so education is a priority. He also supports precious-metals mining and border-to-border broadband.
For Minnesota House District 3B: DFL Rep. Mary Murphy
A lawmaker for 40 years, Murphy’s re-election assures a strong, knowledgeable, northern voice returns to St. Paul to continue fighting for adequate funding for education and for a fairer local government aid formula.
For Minnesota House District 5B: DFL Rep. Tom Anzelc
He has experience, knowledge and the perspective that comes from living on a tiny lake in a tiny township in ultra-rural Northeastern Minnesota while also working as an elected leader in big-city St. Paul.
For Minnesota House District 6A: Republican Rob Farnsworth
He may be a Republican on the Iron Range, but he’s a pro-union, pro-labor Republican on the Iron Range. And in a competitive race to replace Rep. Carly Melin, he’s the best bet for effective, strong leadership.
For Minnesota House District 6B: DFL Rep. Jason Metsa
Recognizing that politics are doing in the Minnesota Legislature and identifying the need to more effectively reach across the aisle are signs of political maturity for Metsa, a two-term incumbent.
For Minnesota House District 7A: DFL Rep. Jennifer Schultz
First elected in 2012, Schultz is the only economist in the state House. Considering her health care and economic expertise, the Legislature is a stronger, smarter body with the UMD associate professor as part of it.
For Minnesota House District 7B: Republican Cody Barringer
A flight instructor at Lake Superior College, Barringer can bring some real-world reality to state government. He’s for less tax burden, less government and more power in people’s hands. He’s a pro-life, pro-
Second Amendment choice.
For Minnesota House District 11A: Republican challenger Mike Line
His father was a mayor of Wrenshall. He has been on the Barnum School Board for four years. And he’s a successful businessman. With a career in sales and marketing, Line’s TTek Assemblies manufactures custom battery packs.
For St. Louis County Board District 2: Incumbent Patrick Boyle
A Duluth city councilor for four years and a St. Louis County Board member the past three years, Boyle has experience, a proven record and strong knowledge of the issues. He’s a valued public servant.
For St. Louis County Board District 3: Beth Olson
With public costs skyrocketing to help vulnerable children, Olson, the executive director of the First Witness Child Advocacy Center, will be an excellent fit and a tremendous benefit on the County Board.
For St. Louis County Board District 5: Incumbent Pete Stauber
Chairman of the Public Works and Transportation Committee and a Duluth police officer, Stauber’s well-placed priorities include maintaining county highways and bridges and addressing problems stemming from unmet mental health challenges and drug addiction.
For St. Louis County Board District 7: Melissa Scaia
With health and human services such a pressing issue in St. Louis County, Scaia, executive director of the nonprofit Domestic Abuse Intervention Program, would be an invaluable addition to the County Board as a replacement for Commissioner Steve Raukar.
Statewide ballot question: Yes
Remove state lawmakers’ power to set their own salaries and establish an independent council to set and then regularly review legislative pay. Such a move removes politics and has a better chance of assuring legislators receive fair and reasonable compensation.
Hermantown referendum question: Yes
A vote to start spending some of the money already being raised by Hermantown’s 1 percent sales tax on a proposed regional wellness center is a vote for a healthier community in a region that’s sedentary-challenged.
Superior referendum question: Yes
They’re dreaming big in Superior; and at this point, why not support it? The dream is of a major development downtown with a theater, water slides, housing and more, paid for with new tourism taxes and private investment. The vote now is advisory.