DFL Rep. Tony Sertich‘s departure from the Legislature to take over the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board leaves an open seat in House District 5B, where he has sat for the last six terms.
Democratic Iron Range blogger Aaron Brown already has a list of local movers and shakers who could crop up as candidates to take over the district that covers Hibbing, Chisholm, Floodwood and Meadowlands. Dayton picked Feb. 15 for the special election, but the Feb. 1 primary election is likely to be the more heated contest in the DFL stronghold.
Brown lists a swath of DFL potential candidates, naming first IRR citizen board member Shelley Morton Robinson. She is a former chair of the Hibbing-Chisholm chamber of commerce board and a CEO of a local group home for the developmentally disabled. Other possibilities: Chisholm Mayor Mike Jugovich, St. Louis County Commissioner Steve Raukar, DFL activist Cathy Baudeck, recently defeated Hibbing Mayor Rick Wolff, recently retired Hibbing H.S. maintenance head Dan Kearney, and Carly Melin, a Hibbing legal clerk.
He also notes a longtime political rivalry between Hibbing and Chisholm DFLers, saying “Hibbing, which also happens to be a couple tics more conservative than Chisholm, has been hungering to have its own representative for a while.”