Bernie Sanders to campaign on the Iron Range

Bernie Sanders will campaign on Northern Minnesota's Iron Range with a special focus on trade issues and the region's struggling economy. PHOTO: Phil Roeder, Flickr CC

Bernie Sanders will campaign on Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range this Friday with focus on trade issues and the region’s struggling economy. PHOTO: Phil Roeder, Flickr CC

Minnesota’s storied Mesabi Iron Range will host a major presidential candidate this Friday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders plans a Feb. 26 morning rally at the Hibbing High School auditorium. See Sanders’ website for information. Doors open at 7:30.

Minnesota’s presidential preference vote will take place at major party precinct caucuses next Tuesday, March 1.

The Hibbing High School auditorium is most famous as the stage where a teenage Bob Dylan played rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1950s. The principal pulled the curtain on him during a talent show as he banged out a Little Richard tune.

At the time of its construction in 1922, Hibbing High School was the most expensive, ornate public school in the country. This was only possible because of enormous iron mining revenue, cash that even caused the city to be moved five miles south to its current location.

In that regard Sanders’ visit is a sort of bookend. He’ll come to the cathedral mining built to preach that the workers of today are being left behind. Sanders has made unfair trade one of the cornerstones of his campaign, something that could prove persuasive to a working class region deeply affected by the global steel market.

Visiting Hibbing, hometown of Bob Dylan, might be of special interest to Sanders, as he and Dylan are the same age. One imagines a young Sanders spinning a few Dylan records.

Sanders held a successful rally in Duluth earlier this year along with several events in the Twin Cities over the past year.

Sanders’ front-runner opponent Hillary Clinton campaigned for President Obama in Hibbing back in 2008. Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for Democrats here in 2014.

The Minnesota caucuses are one of the contests the Sanders campaign has identified as winnable on Super Tuesday. Indeed, it’s the kind of state he would need to win if he hopes to take the nomination.


  1. You mentioned Bernie and Dylan in the same sentence. You must know about this.*Version*=1&*entries*=0

  2. If it’s possible one can smile from hell, Arvo Kustaa Halberg gotta be grinnin’

  3. Bernie is not a communist. He advocates for a US healthcare similar to those in Australia, Israel, Iceland, Canada, Germany, France, virtually all European countries. I don’t think anyone would label any of those countries as communistic. There is a vast difference as you know but prefer to ignore.

  4. Hibbing High School Auditorium on a school day?

  5. Only Bernie has the guts to campaign in the Mesabi Iron Range. Can you imagine Trump there, getting shouted down by a hella tough bunch of Scandinavian miners? I can hardly wait.

    • Independant says

      Olivia… I think you might be surprised. Iron Range miners and blue collar folks are pretty burnt out on tree huggers and the political class treating us like children who should be waiting their counsel and are not intelligent enough to make decisions on our own.

    • YoungerRanger32 says

      Trump would be putting higher tariffs and taxes on imported steel. If you wanna vote for a Clinton your basically voting for a Bush!

    • Indy and YR32 are correct Ms. LaRosa. The Range you are referring to ended a long time ago, and exists primarily in the imaginations of people. All of this supposed “hardship” and “plight” actually took place about thirty years ago. For reference, I attended school in Biwabik. We were our own district. We were the Biwabik Braves. Every town contained enough children to support an independent school district. For further reference, Hibbing High School graduates about the same numbers today as Babbitt used to graduate.

      As for “Hella tough” people, they are working as nurses or in the service sector as they always have. They receive no attention in the media for their very real struggle, but they are there. And, they greatly outnumber the small fraction of miners.

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