Melissa Scaia to run for St. Louis Co. Board

Melissa Scaia

Melissa Scaia

Melissa Scaia of Chisholm, a well-known family advocate on the Iron Range, today announced she would run for the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners in the Seventh District.

Scaia’s entrance into the race ensures a primary. Other candidates include Chisholm Mayor Mike Jugovich and county social worker and Hibbing School Board member Jeff Polcher.

The Seventh District encompasses the western side of the county, including Hibbing, Chisholm and Buhl. Outgoing commissioner Steve Raukar of Hibbing announced his retirement this year, having been elected to that office by large margins four times.

Scaia brings a new dynamic to what can sometimes be an overlooked political contest. She has been in the news just this month as a leader protesting the Hibbing school district’s handling of a discrimination finding. (NOTE: the administrator in question has since resigned). She also has been the local organizer for the “No More ” campaign, encouraging young people to speak up when they see domestic and relationship violence.

Scaia is the executive director of Advocates for Family Peace, the Iron Range’s primary organization for aiding victims of domestic abuse.

She writes:

I want to be the next 7th District Commissioner for St. Louis County because I want to work with our community members to be part of a vital, resilient, and thriving County. I will work as your leader to provide an independent voice, action, and effective leadership for our communities.

As your St. Louis County Commissioner of the 7th District, I will:

• be a leader that speaks and takes action for innovative ideas that work.
• improve and expand our infrastructure and roads.
• address the needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our communities while assessing our reliance on increasing property taxes.
• support our local law enforcement, corrections, and prosecutorial efforts to keep our communities safe; and
• develop and expand recreational activities, the arts community, and tourism in our communities while also exploring how they could lead to possible economic growth.

Jeff Polcher

Jeff Polcher

Mike Jugovich

Mike Jugovich

Scaia’s opponents both have political experience.

Jugovich has been elected three times as mayor of Chisholm and often speaks or participates in DFL and other Iron Range political events.

Polcher is chair of the Hibbing School Board, the very organization that prevented Scaia from speaking at a controversial meeting earlier this year. He’s also a longtime St. Louis Social worker helping people who struggle with addiction.

On a side note, a while back I had speculated on the fact that this part of the central Mesabi Iron Range has two big political openings right now. There’s this commissioner seat and also the House 6A seat being vacated by the early retirement of Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing).

That 6A race has six candidates now, but none of them are particularly well known. Jugovich and Scaia were both names I had heard as potential House candidates, but both instead opted for the more local county board race. (I would, too. The county board pays more and involves less travel, and arguably deals with more policy outcomes than a legislator does).

The top two candidates will advance out of an Aug. 9 primary.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.