A busy week of Iron Range politics

Last week Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Pike Township) announced he would retire from the State House seat he’s held for 26 years. This is will likely remain a solid DFL district in the heart of the Iron Range, though Rukavina seldom drew a very strong GOP challenger. Once again, we test the true index of an Iron Range district.

As was the case when Tony Sertich stepped down from his House seat last year to become IRRRB Commissioner, the stage is set for a high stakes DFL endorsement and/or primary contest. This will be followed by a rare open seat battle. I’ll be covering this race in the same fashion as the special election primary that led to the election of Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) in 2011.

This district has changed some with redistricting. Now known as House District 6B, the DFL will hold its Senate 6/House 6A and 6B endorsing convention next Saturday, May 19 in Hibbing. I expect at least a few candidates to compete for the endorsement, though there is the possibility that another candidate or candidates could run in the August primary. This means the next week will be very interesting and likely informative as to the kind of race that will develop.

I’ll follow the same policy I had in the Melin race. I will have some obvious conflicts of interest in that I expect people I know, even some friends, to run in this election. Such is the nature of being involved in the tight-knit Iron Range community. But I think Iron Range politics is always fodder for interesting stories. Range voters and interested observers from around the state deserve to have informed coverage and analysis from someone on the ground.

This blog remains officially neutral through the primary and I will strive to be fair in covering the race. I encourage candidates of any political affiliation to send information to me here, aaronjbrown@yahoo.com, and I will pass it along. Later I will offer space on this blog to candidates to share their views, including links to any other candidate questionnaires or media coverage that will be useful to voters.

The first candidate announcement will be posted shortly.

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