Huntley retires; open House seat in east Duluth

State PoliticsState Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) announced today he would not seek re-election in 2014.

From his press release:

Saint Paul, Minnesota — State Representative Tom Huntley (DFL – Duluth) announced today that he will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Huntley is the chair of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee and will be completing his 11th term in the Legislature.

“It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the people of Duluth and Minnesota at the State Capitol,” said Huntley. “I am humbled by this opportunity and the chance I have had to work on issues so vital to the health of our people and state.”

The news creates an open seat in the DFL hotbed of east Duluth, which includes the university neighborhoods. Expect a vigorous endorsement and primary season, all of which I’ll cover here at MinnesotaBrown. I’ll announce candidates as I hear from or about them.

Congratulations to Tom Huntley on his career in the legislature, which included a notable role in health care issues over the past decade.


UPDATE: Here are the candidates I’ve heard about so far:

  • Jennifer Schultz, UMD professor (DFL)
  • Pete Johnson, Duluth firefighter (DFL)
  • Donna Bergstrom, retired Marine intelligence officer and community volunteer (GOP)
  • Linda Krug, Duluth City Councilor (DFL)

UPDATE II: These “likely” names came from media reports, the candidates themselves and speculation within the Duluth political structure. Schultz and Krug are preparing campaigns. Johnson is strongly considering the race. (He is also the president of the Firefighters Union, the same role held by Rep. Eric Simonson (DFL-Duluth) before he was elected to the legislature in West Duluth. Donna Bergstrom officially announced Wednesday as a Republican. Her profile is pretty interesting — a U.S. Marines intelligence officer who is enrolled with the Red Lake band of Ojibwe.

Additional speculation includes several more “maybes,” including some prominent Duluth city politicians. Stay tuned.

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