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Duluth News Tribune endorses write-in candidate Jay Fosle in HD 7B race

Briana Bierschbach//October 11, 2012

Duluth News Tribune endorses write-in candidate Jay Fosle in HD 7B race

Briana Bierschbach//October 11, 2012

Jay Fosle
Jay Fosle

Continuing a streak of endorsing more conservative candidates, the Duluth News Tribune on Thursday endorsed independent write-in candidate and Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle for the House District 7B race over the endorsed GOP and DFL candidates.

In endorsing Fosle, who has served on the council for nearly five years, the paper expressed exasperation at what has been a roller coaster of an election year for voters in the western Duluth House district.

Originally it was incumbent DFL Rep. Kerry Gauthier who was on the ballot in the district, and a shoe-in for re-election in the longtime DFL stronghold. But he suspended his bid for re-election in August after it was revealed that he had oral sex with a 17-year-old male at a public rest stop. That set in motion a scramble of possible write-in candidates to take his place, including Erik Simonson, a Democrat and a deputy fire chief.  Simonson ultimately got the backing of area Democrats, but it was a close race on the heels of another Duluth News Tribune story that featured Simonson’s estranged daughter, who said he had never tried to contact her.

But while Democrats claimed  a victory when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Gauthier’s name could be pulled off the ballot and Simonson’s put on instead, the paper was unimpressed with the candidate.

From the News Tribune:

“Duluth firefighter Erik Simonson, head of the firefighters union, isn’t much of a choice. His own party barely endorsed him. Delegates voted 33-21 at a hastily arranged meeting. Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon of Duluth was so unenthused about Simonson she called on a friend and political ally to seek the new nomination against him. Her friend and ally nearly nailed it.”

“On the Republican side of the Nov. 6 ballot is Travis Silvers. Unfortunately, despite the Gauthier and Simonson messes, he has done little to win voter confidence and to sell himself as a leader. Also, despite coming off as a genuinely nice guy and a devoted family man, Silvers, at candidate forums and in public statements, has offered few specific or original ideas and hasn’t demonstrated a strong grasp of the issues and challenges facing his district or the state.”

Fosle, the paper said, has a proven record of job creation.

“Fosle has leadership experience. He has served four years and nine months on the Duluth City Council, earning a reputation for his thoughtfulness and for being a fiscal watchdog. He’s chairman of the city’s Public Safety Committee and has served as a public utilities commissioner and as the past chairman of the Public Works Committee.”

While running as an independent, Fosle has a reputation for being the more conservative voice on the Duluth City Council. The paper has recently handed out a slew of endorsements to conservative candidates over their liberal counterparts, including Jesse Colangelo in House District 6B, who is facing DFLer Jason Metsa to replace retiring Rep. Tom Rukavina, and Republican Jim Putnam, who is running against Mike Sundin in House District 11A.



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