Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Seven vie for Fourth District seat

Tom Rukavina, citing health reasons, not seeking re-election

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 6/6/18

REGIONAL— Voters in St. Louis County’s vast Fourth District will have a full slate of choices for county commissioner on the primary ballot later this summer.

Filings for the office currently …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Seven vie for Fourth District seat

Tom Rukavina, citing health reasons, not seeking re-election

Posted

REGIONAL— Voters in St. Louis County’s vast Fourth District will have a full slate of choices for county commissioner on the primary ballot later this summer.

Filings for the office currently held by Commissioner Tom Rukavina closed Tuesday, with a total of seven candidates vying for the seat, including three from Ely.

The Ely area candidates include Paul Kess, a longtime instructor at Vermilion Community College and ten-year veteran of the Ely City Council. Kess served as chair of the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools from 2016-17, when the organization underwent a major restructuring. “We have taken strong stands to support the iron mining industry, to support the possibilities of non-ferrous mining, to fight off the arbitrary sulfate standards for wild rice, and to support Local Government Aid to our communities,” said Kess in a statement.

Also filing was Vermilion Community College athletic director and coach Paul McDonald, who had previously announced his candidacy. While it would be McDonald’s first political office, McDonald has represented his faculty union in St. Paul and has held several other major leadership positions, including four years as a board member of the Minnesota High School League and as a current member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 13 Executive Committee.

Also from Ely is Mike Forsman, the son of former County Commissioner Mike Forsman, who filed on Monday. Forsman provided no additional information prior to presstime.

Also running is Dan Manick, a longtime high school baseball coach, former Cook city council member, and a current member of the St. Louis County School Board, serving most recently as board clerk. He’s volunteered extensively in youth athletics in the Cook area, helping to raise funds to improve the athletic fields in the community. Manick has worked as a miner, a logger, and is currently a heavy equipment operator with Koochiching County.

Bernie Mettler, of Embarrass, announced his candidacy several weeks ago. Mettler is a recently-retired St. Louis County deputy sheriff and current town board chair in Embarrass. He’s a longtime union member who says he supports union workers and proposed copper-nickel mining.

And from the far southern reaches of the district, Kristin Larsen, of rural Duluth, filed her paperwork on Tuesday. Larsen is a longtime DFL activist who served three terms as St. Louis County DFL chair and is currently vice-chair of the Senate District 3 committee. Larsen, a licensed occupational therapist, is also an outspoken opponent of sulfide-based mining in the region although she said she hopes that does not overshadow the many other important issues facing the county.

Rounding out the field is Christine Schlotec, of Britt, who could not be reached prior to presstime.

In the Sixth District, political gadfly Matt Matasich, of Virginia, has filed to challenge longtime commissioner Keith Nelson.

The Timberjay will have more information on all the candidates in future editions.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment