GOPer Donna Bergstrom to seek SD 7 seat

Donna Bergstrom

Donna Bergstrom

We’ve heard about DFL candidates for the office, but today Donna Bergstrom joined the District 7 Senate race as a Republican.

Erik Simonson and Sharla Gardner are the announced DFL candidates to succeed Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) who is not seeking re-election.

Here is her press release:

Duluth, MN (January 27, 2016) – Donna Bergstrom today announced her intention to run for the State Senate District 7 seat being vacated by Roger Reinert, who is not seeking re-election. Bergstrom is a retired United States Marine Corps Reserve Intelligence Officer who served for over twenty years. Bergstrom currently works for the State of Minnesota as a Guardian ad Litem in the 6th Judicial district for child protection cases in St. Louis County.

Bergstrom defines herself as a common-sense Republican. “I will bring a fresh voice and a new perspective to the State level, where I will be a strong advocate for efficient and effective government, reasonable tax rates, economic and individual freedoms, and, where I intend to be a representative who is able to engage various populations to make policy with the stakeholders in an inclusive way. I am committed to being a strong defender of our Constitutional freedoms, particularly those protected by the 2nd and 10th Amendments.”

Bergstrom is active in the community, serving as a Steering Committee member on the Duluth Center for Changing Lives, the Lutheran Social Services initiative to end youth homelessness in this area. She is an active volunteer with her son’s school and at her church of worship. She also served as a Commissioner on the Duluth American Indian Commission (renamed the Duluth Indigenous Commission). She is a member of the Duluth Republican Women, and is active with the local Republican Party, currently serving as a delegate.

Bergstrom is a 2014 graduate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, with a Master of Jurisprudence degree in Children’s Law and Policy. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a B.A. degree in Political Science. In announcing her bid for the party endorsement for the State Senate District 7 seat, Bergstrom stated, “I believe my breadth and depth of experience as a former military officer, a Veteran, a working mother and a Red Lake tribal member gives me a broad base of appeal to voters in District 7. I think my life skills will serve our community well in the state legislature.”

She and her family reside in the Lakeside community of Duluth. “Through my military service, I’ve been able to travel all over the world, but in deciding on a community in which to raise a family, we came back here, because this is where my roots are, this is the community I know and love.”


  1. She ran in 2014 for the GOP endorsement for 7A, but was wiped out — something like 40 to 2 — by Becky Hall in the convention.

    She is reportedly pro-choice, and in 2014 raised the issues of educational and economic inequality for minorities, so was way out of step with typical Duluth GOP supporters. I have heard that she spent a lot of time mending fences with GOP players in the last two years. Her emphasis on taxes, guns, and states’ rights in her announcement may indicate that she is moving significantly to the right this time out.

    She is definitely smart and articulate, and may well be a more challenging candidate than some past GOP choices for the DFL to beat if she is endorsed by the GOP. Of course she will be swimming up stream in a district that is about 65% Democrat in most elections.

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