House 5B update: DFL primary eve promises Tuesday intrigue

Pictured at right is what a January special election primary looks like on the Iron Range. Signs for two of the DFL candidates for House 5B perch atop a huge snow bank, just as they do in most of the snow banks around Hibbing. Republican Paul Jacobson, who first ran just last November, also has several signs out.

In fact, the short election period has encouraged some overzealous campaign volunteers to place signs in places where they’d certainly be removed by the cities or highway department during the fall. The extreme cold and deep snow act as protection. It’s just not worth going out there to remove, deface or otherwise mess with these signs. And anyway, it will all be over soon.

Here at MinnesotaBrown I’ve attempted to provide deep, honest coverage of this 5B election. No I am not unbiased, but I hope my opinions and experiences informed my writing instead of debauching it. My coverage of this story started with the announcement of Tony Sertich as the new commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRRB). Candidates began to file for the special election, culminating with the the news that seven people were seeking the office, five DFLers, a Republican and an Independent.

The five DFLers all participated in my request to share commentaries here at the blog:

Jeff Kletscher, Mayor of Floodwood

Ray Pierce, union millwright and local country music personality

Carly Melin, Hibbing attorney

Shelley Robinson, Range Center director and IRRRB citizen member

John Spanish, former legislator, retired miner and WWII veteran

After Tuesday, one of these DFLers will advance to face Jacobson and Cynthia Kafut Hagen, the IP candidate, in the Feb. 15 general election. Though 5B is a heavily DFL district, the unique nature of this election will reward the most enthusiastic candidate and his or her supporters, quite possibly regardless of party. Thus MinnesotaBrown special coverage will continue as the future of the Iron Range unfolds in fascinating fashion. Stay tuned through the evening for rolling coverage from MinnesotaBrown news headquarters in Balsam Township as my team of informants report from bar halls in the city.

Later tonight I’ll post some final analysis of the race, including the path to victory for each of the candidates.

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