Denfeld News

July 18, 2007
Duluth News Tribune

Eight people seek At Large council seat

The number of Duluth mayoral candidates rose to a dozen Tuesday with three new filings just before the deadline. While Herb Bergson’s turnabout filing for re-election gained the most attention, former St. Louis County Commissioner Joanne Fay and Todd Gremmels also filed for mayor. Neither Fay nor Gremmels could be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Duluth At Large City Council seat has ballooned to an eight-person race after four additional candidates filed Tuesday, the final day of filing.

Councilor Tim Little was the only incumbent to file Tuesday. He said he decided it wasn’t time to quit.

“I’m not ready to give up. I think regardless of the outcome, there’s going to be a change in City Council, for sure,” he said.

Like most candidates, Little predicted his campaign would have a lot to do with talking about how to fix the retiree health-care liability.

After losing a bid for a 4th District seat two years ago and mayor eight years ago, Jon Donahue is running again.

This time he wants to secure the At Large seat on the council.

“I feel that someone has to take on these special-interest groups,” the 42-year-old father of three said. “I feel the need to stand up and speak on behalf of many people in this town who are tired of being bullied around by the city’s unions,” he said.

While the lifelong resident thinks the city should honor agreements with retirees, he believes the city needs to be tougher on unions.

Another At Large candidate, Becky Hall, lost an election in November to long-term incumbent Thomas Huntley for the state House District 7A seat.

This time, she wants to try to push Duluth in a positive direction.

“I really want to be a part of a process that can see some things change in Duluth,” said Hall, who moved to Duluth five years ago, and plans to spend the rest of her life here.

“I would just like to see the city get its books in order,” said Hall, 43.

Tony Salls, who ran for an open At Large seat in 2003, filed Tuesday for the At Large position as well. Salls was general manager of Duluth’s former Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurante and was an outspoken critic of a ban on smoking in restaurants. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Jeff Anderson, Jack Arnold, Henry Banks and Tony Cuneo also have all filed as candidates for the At Large seat.

Jay Fosle also filed Tuesday for the 5th District seat.

“I decided to run for safety for the community,” he said.

Fosle, 46, said he wants to reopen more community centers and enhance the city’s neighborhood watch programs. He wants to give kids more to do, and reduce crime in Duluth.

This will be his first bid for office. He’s running against incumbent Russell Stover and challengers William Max Unger and Allan Beaulier.

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