As of Friday, Dec. 20, three candidates have announced their intention to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in east Duluth’s District 7A after the announcement earlier this week that Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) would not seek re-election in 2014. Among the candidates are DFLers Jennifer Schultz and Linda Krug and Republican Donna Bergstrom. DFLer Pete Johnson is also strongly considering a run, but has yet to officially announce. (UPDATE: He’s in, as is Gary Johnson).
Duluth city councilor-at-large Linda Krug announced she would seek election from House 7A as a DFLer. Here is her press release, followed by my analysis:
Duluth Leader Linda Krug has announced today that she will seek the Minnesota House 7A District seat held by Representative Tom Huntley, who recently announced his retirement.
Krug has lived in Duluth for 27 years and currently co-directs the Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). MAPL is a weekend graduate program that trains students to be effective progressive leaders in the nonprofit, labor, and legislative arenas. Krug oversees the 5-credit internship program and teaches the Advocacy and Political Leadership core course.
Prior to this role, Krug served for 11 years as Dean of UMD’s College of Liberal Arts and four additional years leading UMD’s faculty union (UEA) as vice president and then president. As Dean and UEA President, Krug’s experience managing multi-million dollar budgets earned her a reputation as a skilled, collaborative and effective leader.
In 2011, Krug was elected to the Duluth City Council. An at large Councilor and current Vice President, Krug is energetically pursuing initiatives aimed at protecting the health, well being, and economic vitality of the city and people of Duluth. She was dynamic in combating synthetic drugs, shuttering a problematic local head shop, and regulating e-cigarettes. Working together with other councilors, Krug supported a Citizens Review Board, ensured funding to expand the city’s economic development division, and participated in reforming outdated hiring practices. Krug is committed to promoting clean energy and sustainable development solutions. As the co-chair of the Council’s Street Task Force, Krug is also investigating permanent solutions for funding the repair and maintenance Duluth’s streets.
Governor Dayton appointed Krug to serve on the Commission for Judicial Selection in 2011, and over the last three years she has helped seat some 70 justices at the District Court, Court of Appeals, and Minnesota Supreme Court levels. Krug is a director of Park State Bank, and a Foundation board member of Duluth’s community hospital, St. Luke’s. Krug is also a senior partner in the leadership consulting firm, Momentum Unleashed, LLC.
Krug strongly believes that her breadth and depth of experience will represent District 7A well in St Paul. “I know how important it is for Duluth to have a strong voice at the Capitol,” she says. “As a city, we have felt the impact of the changing face of Local Government Aid (LGA). As a community we have suffered because there was no mechanism at the state level to shut down Last Place on Earth and stop the sale of synthetic drugs. Our workers and our economic vitality are vulnerable when the minimum wage stagnates and when our bonding projects do not make the final list.”
“My years of work and service in Duluth demonstrate my commitment to working collaboratively to get things done,” Krug concludes. “I will be a strong voice advocating for the residents of our district, and I look forward to serving.”
ANALYSIS: Like Schultz, Linda Krug comes from the UMD community and the university will play an important role in this election. Unlike Schultz, Krug has been on a ballot before, winning the at-large seat two years ago on a ballot that included most, if not all of District 7A. Not everyone was expecting Krug to run. If it weren’t for the fact that Schultz appeared to have some kind of inside track on the Huntley announcement, I’d call Krug the favorite. As it is, she has the experience to be very competitive here. The DFL endorsement process will be a huge test of the political coalitions that fueled Krug’s council win and propelled her opponent into the race.