Colangelo looks to reverse GOP fortunes on the eastern Range

One of the interesting legislative races to watch this year is the new 6B, where three DFLers and two GOPers are running to succeed retiring State Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Pike Township).

Though the district partisan index continues to favor the DFL, where Lorrie Janatopoulos, Jason Metsa and Dave Meyer are running in a very competitive primary, this year also brings a very rare Iron Range GOP primary. Endorsed Republican, Jesse Colangelo of Eveleth, a registered nurse, will face Dan Darbo of Hoyt Lakes.

Yesterday, Colangelo sent me his campaign announcement, identifying himself as a pro-union Republican looking to upset the orthodoxy of Iron Range politics.

My name is Jesse Colangelo. I am a fourth generation Iron Ranger. I was born at the Virginia hospital in 1973.

I have been living in Eveleth since 2004. I was proudly raised in a Republican family with strong Christian values.

I am running for the first time as the Republican Endorsed Candidate for the NEW House District 6B.

I am running for the MN House of Representatives District 6B because the people of Minnesota deserve better. The people of the Iron Range deserve better. For too long have partisan politics divided our state and our people.

It’s time to come together and get things done in St. Paul.It’s time to elect officials who care about the people they represent. It’s time to elect officials who will protect the middle class. It’s time to elect officials who will protect the futures of our children. THE TIME HAS COME TO REDUCE OUR DEBT AND PAY BACK OUR CHILDREN.

I do realize that many people have misconceptions about the Republican Party and I would appreciate the opportunity to help educate the public. We are not a Party for the wealthy one percent of Americans, in fact most DFL and GOP members have much more in common than we have differences.

The Republican platform’s most important issues are: Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, Free Enterprise and Personal Responsibility.

Personally, I support all of these ideas. Additionally,

I strongly support reducing our debt and the rapid rate of inflation.
I strongly support our veterans and active duty soldiers.
I strongly support our individual and fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
I strongly support expanding non-ferrous mining on the Iron Range.

I also strongly support attracting more businesses to our area by making sure we are able to offer a skilled workforce. We can achieve this by making sure our community colleges and universities develop more relevant programs to fulfill the growing needs of employers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are currently 3 million job openings in the U.S. that are going unfilled. The biggest reason is a mismatch between the qualifications employers are looking for and the skillsets of the jobseekers. The Iron Range has the potential to provide the type of workforce employers are looking for and attract new businesses to our area.

Currently, I am a registered nurse and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association. Prior to nursing I was a member of the Plasterers Local #265.

The Republican party and the Democrat party both have individual members who support unions and those who support making Minnesota a right to work state. I have heard many known DFL union members say “The union has not done anything for me.” I have heard many more who are outraged by union corruption and losing their pensions.

I am a Republican and I am proud to be a union member. I do not support making Minnesota a right to work state. I believe workers already have the right to choose for themselves whether or not they want to work for a union employer. I do not want to lose my right to be a union member and to have a livable wage. Please remember to vote for Jesse Colangelo in the primary on August 14th and in the general election on November 6th. Thank you for your support.

For more information to volunteer or to donate please visit

I have not seen any official word on Darbo’s candidacy, but Colangelo appears ready to challenge the Range DFL.


  1. God bless Jesse!

  2. I am a steelworker for Chip and I will be voting for Jesse too!

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