Emily Larson announces bid for Duluth mayor

City Councilor Emily Larson is running for Mayor of Duluth in 2015.

City Councilor Emily Larson is running for Mayor of Duluth in 2015.

At 12:30 p.m. today in front of the Duluth Library, City Councilor Emily Larson will announce her plans to run for mayor of Duluth. Larson becomes an early entrant in what could become a fascinating campaign to succeed popular incumbent Don Ness, who is not seeking re-election.

Larson, a DFLer, is currently president of the Duluth City Council. Larson quickly became a rising star in Duluth politics after her first place finish in the at large council race back in 2011. She’ll be running for mayor instead of what would probably be a safe re-election to the council.

In her time on the council, Larson has immersed herself in a number of nitty-gritty issues, particularly the city’s libraries. She becomes a strong candidate, one with a good chance at the DFL endorsement which has been the golden ticket in Duluth politics these days.

Here is Larson’s press release:

City Council President Emily Larson marks the beginning of her mayoral campaign outside the Duluth Public Library, Wednesday, December 17.

Larson chose this location as it tells a hopeful story. Not only is this where she first announced her successful city council bid, it showcases many Duluth development projects and the progress in our region.

With Larson’s leadership on the Duluth Economic Development Authority several new projects are underway. This includes the building across from the library, a unit that has gone from vacant to the active construction site for the new maurice’s Corporate Tower. This 11-story, $75 million dollar investment in downtown Duluth is creating good jobs, expanding Duluth’s tax base and building enthusiasm.

Two blocks away is the Duluth Transit Authority Multimodal Transit Center project – another $20 million dollar investment that will serve bus riders, bike commuters, skywalk users, and downtown workers.

Superior Street itself is scheduled for reconstruction in 2016. This huge undertaking will address not just the surface needs of the roads, but a needed infrastructure update beneath it for better, greener service for retailers and residents.

Lastly, since Larson became parks and library liaison to the City Council, branch locations now have expanded hours. The conversation to renovate the main library and Larson’s vision to return to full weekend hours will continue in 2015.

Larson currently serves on the City Council in an at-large seat won after a strong, citywide campaign. In that election, Larson was the top vote-getter and has since risen to serve as the council’s president.

Larson is joined in this announcement with her husband, architect Doug Zaun.

Fellow city councilor and blogger Howie Hanson has already announced his plans to run for mayor. Earlier this week, outgoing Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, a Duluthian, indicated she might consider a run for mayor. But she hasn’t declared and is spending much of the winter in Arizona. I’d call that a “maybe,” though she’d be a compelling candidate if she did run.


  1. “I would just like to thank everybody for the really, really valuable information they’ve shared with us tonight. It’s really valuable, and really important, and I’m really, really grateful to see so many wonderful people engaged in the process, and I just want to thank everybody, because you’re all so awesome and fantastic. Really. So thanks.”

    Councilor Larson, on every issue

  2. Good afternoon. I love ❤️ Duluth and been living here with my partner for years. I’m a disability and therapy. I have had a surgery for a few. One is my brain 🧠 is some cut off, I have a broken left hip and with all the roads are not good for me and my head, I get headache 🤕 all the time. Bathrooms 🚽 are always always busy where I go, the restaurants when go out to dinner the bathrooms for the ones for my type is always crowded and a regular people are alway on here when we need to get them. Before I get to home I have to get to the bathroom or I will get a really bad 💩 in the car 🚙 or restaurant. The other is when we go to get parking to restaurant or anything where the park space the only with no spots with a to show that are disabilities. I have a walker and wheelchair for me to try to feel better and normal. I have not slept in a 🛏 bed on now in a sofa for a few months. We love ❤️ Duluth so much. Can we get some help?

    Thank You 🙏🏼

    Juan Romero

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