Schultz wins DFL nod in 7A, shocking tough field

Jennifer Schultz, DFL endorsed candidate for House 7A seat in east Duluth.

Jennifer Schultz, DFL endorsed candidate for House 7A seat in east Duluth.

Four strong candidates. Seven ballots. By the end, Jennifer Schultz had won the DFL endorsement in House District 7A to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth). The Duluth News Tribune has a detailed story.

Schultz, a political newcomer, is a professor of economics and director of the health care management program at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. She faced city council president Linda Krug, Duluth fire fighter and union leader Pete Johnson and longtime community organizer Gary Anderson. Krug and Anderson fell early, while it was Johnson who took Schultz to the seventh ballot before conceding as the outcome was becoming clear. All candidate had agreed to abide by the endorsement, so Schultz likely has a clear path to the nomination unless a primary opponent emerges.

In selecting Schultz, the DFL has a fresh face with a great deal of experience in health care policy and how that relates to economics. This provides her both an opportunity to appeal to voters on a key issue or provoke attacks from health care coverage opponents.

Meantime, I also learned from the DNT story that Republicans in 7A endorsed community activist Becky Hall over retired Marine intelligence officer Donna Bergstrom. Hall lost handily to Huntley for this office in recent years, and has run for numerous offices with increasing margins of defeat. Bergstrom could have been a more formidable candidate. But, she’s new to partisan politics and has worked with DFLers on nonpartisan campaigns in the past, so I expect GOPers went with someone they knew and trusted.

With the growing DFL trend in Duluth, Jennifer Schultz is now the favored candidate to win this race. She would need to screw up badly to fumble away this advantage. She appears to have a strong campaign.


  1. Gerald S. says

    Presuming that beating Becky Hall will be routine or easy may be a dangerous error for Duluth DFLers. Although Hall has lost a number of races, in her last outing she lost a county board race to the late Steve O’Neill, a popular incumbent, by fewer than 1000 votes, in a presidential year when the DFL was sweeping elections throughout Duluth and Minnesota. This year Hall will be riding what looks like a GOP wave nationally and perhaps in the state. Schultz and her fellow DFLers better be ready to unite and work hard if they want to retain Huntley’s seat in the process of trying to protect the DFL majority in the State House of Representatives.

  2. Joan D'Arc says

    Schultz ran a good campaign, she was well-organized and on the ball. Krug has few constituents besides her friends and family. Anderson is seen as a one-issue candidate. Johnson did pretty well, considering that Anderson threw his support to Schultz after he dropped out. Krug is the big loser here, she alienated a lot of people with the civil service reforms and then with the 2d District appointment attempt at overturning it. Schultz will run hard, and I am confident she will prevail over “perennial candidate” Becky Hall. Bergstrom might have been a more formidable candidate.

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