New Iron Range Resources Board Commissioner Tony Sertich turned in his resignation as representative for House District 5B on Wednesday, and candidates are already lining up to take his place.
Candidate filing for the seat opened Friday, and already two candidates have registered: DFL businesswoman and IRRB member Shelley Robinson and Republican Paul Jacobson. Another DFL candidate, attorney Carly Melin, announced her intention to run as well. (There will be a Capitol Report story on the race Friday afternoon). Dayton has set the primary for Feb. 1, and the special election for Feb. 15.
Jacobson ran against Sertich in the fall, losing with about 33 percent of the vote. He is a counselor at KidsPeace Mesabi Academy. Jacobson graduated from North Central Bible College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and received a minister’s license. He received his masters degree from the University of Phoenix in 2009, studying business administration.
Melin works for the Minnesota State Judiciary on the Iron Range. She studied at Bemidji State University and went on to earn a law degree from Hamline University in St. Paul. In college she was involved the Bemidji College Democrats and was chair of the Hamline Law Democrats. After school Melin interned for Sertich, working with constituents and doing legislation research. Former state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Jerry Janezich is Melin’s campaign co-chair.
Robinson, the first to announce a run, is the CEO of Range Center, a nonprofit that helps those with developmental disabilities. She got her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Montana, and her masters in educational leadership and administration from St. Cloud State University. She has worked as a special education teacher and is currently serving her second term as a citizen member of the Iron Range Resources Board.