Radinovich named to famed ‘Range Delegation’

State. Rep. Joe Radinovich (DFL-Crosby) has been officially granted membership in the Iron Range Delegation of state lawmakers. Here he is with Reps. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) and Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing). Radinovich is already on the record making elementary teachers swoon.

Though in recent decades membership has been limited to representatives and senators with active mining in their districts, Radinovich does represent the Cuyuna Iron Range by Crosby and Ironton, an historically significant region in Minnesota’s mining and political story. With redistricting essentially eliminating one of the seven “traditional” spots in the delegation, Radinovich’s admission fills out the roster.

The delegation is generally associated with the pro-mining, economically populist brand of DFL politics common to the region, but has included Republican members when they’ve managed to win election here, most recently among them former State. Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick (R-Deer River).

Meantime, Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) was frozen off the IRRRB and was not invited to join the Range delegation, even though North Shore’s processing plant is in her new district. Her skepticism about nonferrous mining is probably just a coincidence.

That is sarcasm.

CORRECTION: I forgot that former Rep. Al Juhnke was a dues-paying member for many years (during which he was the roommate of Rep. Tom Rukavina, a further mark of bravery).


  1. Cronyism at it’s best..

  2. While I appreciate the story, Aaron’s grasp of North Shore Geography is wrong. I am shocked, and expect more from our intrepid reporter.

    Here’s the deal: the North Shore Taconite Plant is in Silver Bay. If you look at Mary Murphy’s new district, it only goes as far north as Two Harbors. For those of you familiar with the Shore, there is a good 30 miles and two state parks between the two.

    However, much of the taconite produced at MinnTac and Minorca is shipped via Canadian National Railroad (formerly DMIR) to the Two Harbors docks, and then across the Great Lakes. There’s still Two Harbors folks that work for DMIR/CN (though not as many as there used to be), so I think you could argue that Two Harbors is a least a bit dependent on Taconite (albeit indirectly).

    And definitely more so than the Crosby-Ironton area. (Although I intend no disrespect to Crosby – Louis’ Bucket of Bones rocks!)

    So, sadly, I have to agree with Aaron (and oddly, with Ranger 47) that cronyism is alive and well in the IRRRB.

    Its about time we grew some spines and started demanding reps that believe in good government, practice transparency, and don’t cow-tow to the mining companies’ every whim.

    Senator Bakk should be thrown out on his ass for changing around the IRRRB to make this happen, not to mention all the hanky panky he pulled to try to keep IRRRB finances secret. Out with him!

  3. Joe Hill – Ugh, you have caught a very unfortunate error. Of course I know that North Shore’s plant is in Silver Bay, I’ve driven under the overpass many a time. I must have had a serious brain fade when I wrote this. I think Mary Murphy’s argument that Two Harbors has a distinct interest in taconite mining, along with Proctor, is still valid for the reasons you state. And I like Joe Rad, think he’ll be fine here, but there is no shortage of politics in the maneuverings thus far.

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