Study shows rural ‘recreation counties’ holding population

In real terms, the biggest factor in most of the challenges facing Iron Range communities is population loss. The economic contraction of the late 1950s and 1980s sent people away from core Range communities. This impacted local businesses, school enrollments, housing values, and myriad other issues. There are other factors, more to consider, but basically… Read More →

Amy Klobuchar: the senator from Minnesota

I first met Amy Klobuchar in a back alley in International Falls, Minnesota, not far from a paper plant along the Canadian border. Looking back at that 2006 day gives us clues about her upcoming presidential campaign.

Rarick, GOP win special election in MN Senate Dist. 11

History shows that mighty campaigns die in the winter and all dynasties come to an end. State Rep. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) defeated DFLer Stu Lourey in the Minnesota Senate District 11 special election Tuesday. Rarick racked up big numbers in his home House district and kept the vote close enough in the DFL-leaning northern… Read More →

Tuesday special election in SD11 clouded by midwinter blues, ballot issues

Voters in Minnesota Senate District 11 will go to the polls Tuesday to elect a new State Senator. Though SD11 projects the image of a swing district, the election outcome remains even more uncertain than usual. Candidates aren’t just sparring with each other, they’re fighting to get people to vote in the middle of winter. In… Read More →

Stu Lourey wins DFL nod in SD 11 special election

Stu Lourey won the Senate District 11 special election DFL primary Tuesday. He defeated Michelle Lee in a snowy showdown marked by low turnout. I’m projecting the result based on Lourey’s strong performance in Pine County, where most remaining returns will come from. Lourey will end up winning by about 250 votes or 6.5 percent…. Read More →

Lee wins DFL endorsement in SD11; primary Tuesday

DFL delegates in Minnesota Senate District 11 endorsed former news anchor Michelle Lee for Tuesday’s special election primary.

Lee carried 93 votes to 63 for Stu Lourey on the first ballot. Lourey conceded the endorsement as Lee emerged just tenths of a percent short of the necessary 60 percent. However, Lourey vowed to continue campaigning for the Jan. 22 primary.

DFL primary in Senate District 11 special election

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Two Democrats, four Republicans and a member of the Legal Marijuana Now party filed for the District 11 special election for the Minnesota State Senate. The field could narrow today during the drop period, but the rest will be decided in a Jan. 22 primary election before the rapidly approaching Feb. 5 general election.

District 11 covers Carlton, Pine and parts of St. Louis and Kanabec counties. It’s the rural east central “ribs” of Minnesota. Cloquet is an industrial paper town on the north side. Moose Lake, Pine City and Hinkley follow to the south. The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa reservation is found here as well.

Petition to give Northwest Angle to Canada lacks support

A petition to give Northern Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Canada seems to lack local support. Nevertheless, we are left to contemplate geographic oddities and the peculiar existence of this strange appeal to President Trump.

Walz reappoints Phillips at Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation

After an active search, Gov.-elect Tim Walz opts to reappoint Mark Phillips as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

Lourey appointed to Human Services, prompting special election in SD 11

State Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) will be the next commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Gov.-elect Walz made the announcement Thursday.
Lourey’s appointment creates a special election for Senate District 11, which includes Carlton, Pine and parts of St. Louis and Kanabec counties.