Hainey to run for Iron Range State House seat

Shaun Hainey

With State Rep. Jason Metsa running for Congress, his vacated House 6B seat becomes an interesting undercard in the impending Iron Range political scrum of 2018.

Today, the first DFL candidate announced his candidacy. Shaun Hainey, an employee in the St. Louis County assessor’s office, is a hobby farmer and union member from Pike Township northeast of Virginia, Minnesota.

“My first priority is education. I want to help prepare our children to thrive in our natural resource-based economy and create opportunities for entrepreneurship — contributing to a more vibrant Iron Range and giving people more reasons to stay or return to the area,” said Hainey in his opening press release.

Hainey boasts an interesting resume:

Shaun grew up in Pine Springs, MN and attended the University of Minnesota, Morris, where he earned a degree in political science with minors in economics and psychology. He lives with his wife, Cassandra (Maki) Hainey, and their four children on an aspiring hobby farm in Pike Township.

Hainey currently works for the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office, is a member of AFSCME, Vice Chair for Friends of the (Olcott Park) Greenhouse, an active Rotarian, and co-teaches Sunday school at United in Christ Lutheran Church. Hainey has served on the Quad-Cities Early Childhood Coalition and Laurentian Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee along with charitable boards for Volunteers in Education (VinE) and Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS).

As one would expect from a candidate seeking the most Iron Range-centric district in the state, Hainey offers support for mining. He argues that environmental protection and new mining can co-exist if people use a problem-solving approach.

Hainey appears to be well organized. He’s hosting listening sessions this week. The first will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 9 at Boomtown in Eveleth. The second will be from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 11 at the Olcott Park Greenhouse. At that event, there will be a scavenger hunt for kids and music by the band “Horse Fzce.”

Skeeter Tomczak, a military veteran who ran for State Senate in 2016, is running as a Republican in House 6B.

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