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Former state Rep. Tom Rukavina breezes through St. Louis County commissioner primary

Rukavina was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s nonpartisan county board primary, with nearly 53 percent of the vote.

Tom Rukavina, the Iron Range legislator who served 26 years in the state House before retiring in 2012, advanced Tuesday in his bid for a seat on the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners.

Rukavina, a popular populist who ran for the DFL endorsement for governor in 2010, got nearly 53 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election.

In the Nov. 4 county board general election he’ll face Christina Hujanen of Tower, who had about 25 percent of the vote, beating third-place finisher Kirsten Reichel of Greenwood Township by 110 votes.

The winner will replace veteran Commissioner Mike Forsman of Ely who isn’t seeking re-election, said the Duluth News Tribune.

Should he win, Rukavina’s fiery style promises to keep the northern Minnesota county’s board meetings from being dull. Said Minnesota Brown this spring, when Rukavina was pondering whether to run for the board:

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“Rukavina has had many public spats with St. Louis County officials over the years, including an on-again, off-again feud with Sixth District commissioner Keith Nelson, so the prospect for fireworks on a county board that includes Tom Rukavina is quite high.”