The five DFLers seeking their party’s slot in the election for the open House seat in District 5B all attended a candidate’s forum Wednesday in Hibbing.
They’ll face off in a Feb. 1 primary, and the winner will run against Republican Paul Jacobson and Independence Party candidate Cynthia Kafut-Hagen in the Feb. 15 special election to succeed Tony Sertich, who resigned to become commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.
The DFL forum at Hibbing Community College covered lots of ground, says the Northland News Center.
- Jeffrey “Jeff” Kletscher, mayor of Floodwood.
- Carly Melin of Hibbing, a former intern for Sertich.
- Shelley Robinson of Hibbing, executive director of Range Center Inc.
- Raymond Lee Pierce Jr. of Hibbing, a millwright.
- John J. Spanish, a retired machinist from Hibbing.
Some of their responses, according to the story:
“I think we should work very, very diligently with the chief industry, which is taconite, to keep good paying jobs,” said Spanish.
“Jobs is a big issue right now. That is something the whole state is facing but this region specifically is facing it: a lot of unemployment and I think that is going to be a huge issue for constituents right now in this district,” said Melin.
“[The Essar Steel project in Nashwauk and the proposed PolyMet mine] need to happen. They need to get done as soon as we can get the permits in place to make it happen,” said Kletscher.
“The legislature is now in the process of trying to condense those [project] timelines, but, we need to get those jobs up and running now,” said Robinson.
“I believe they are environmentally sound and I think we need to streamline that processes so these businesses can come in and we can get our people back to work,” said Pierce.