Most Duluthians will see a ballot that looks like the sample above when they vote in the Primary Election on Aug. 10. There are two other city council races that will appear on ballots in specific parts of the city.
Everyone is expected to make a statement from time to time. The obvious high-level example is when there’s a natural disaster or some kind of manmade violence and we await official remarks from the President of the United States. But it extends all the way to the dinner table, where someone might ask, “Beatrice, what do you think about copper-nickel sulfide mining?”
Some would say it’s rude to bring something like that up over supper. Beatrice might choke on the green-bean casserole in panic, fearing a faction of the family could cut ties with her if she speaks her mind.
In America we like to profess that Beatrice is just as important as Donald Trump or Joe Biden, but we are also quick to acknowledge that opinions are amplified by status and reputation.
Donald Trump has a posse. Joe Biden has a posse. It doesn’t matter if Beatrice is more intelligent, more articulate or could kickbox both of their teeth in. She is just Beatrice. They are Presidents.
Democracy has been a tricky thing these days. Used to be I would occasionally post on Facebook about my candidate of choice, proudly display a sign in my yard and make a fuss about donning my sticker on Election Day. Now, it’s fair to say, “it’s complicated.”
Not that I don’t have a candidate of choice — I do. But I’ve rather ghosted off social media where I’d display my virtual heart on my cyber sleeve. These days, I pop in just enough to spin my social plate as it bobbles on the stick of my outward-facing life. After a friend was criticized for being “too happy” in pictures with his young children during these troubled times, I found myself going dark, getting insular. That’s saying something for someone who wrote a memoir. I’m not sure I could write that book today. Actually, I’m sure I couldn’t.
However, there’s been some amazing shifts in my household. While typically forward-leaning me has reclined into quietude, my less demonstrative husband has found his voice. And it’s not an electronic one. Sickened by watching the political battle waged behind screens, he decided to literally “put himself out there,” standing at a popular Duluth intersection holding a political sign. With a small parcel of like-minded friends (which only occasionally includes me), he’s there, every day, for 30 days.
As usual, the ballot in this year’s General Election is not the same for everyone in Duluth. People who live on the western side of town will see the District 3 County Commissioner race shown above. Those on the east side of Duluth will instead see Patrick Boyle running unopposed in District 2. People in the center of the city will not see a County Commissioner race because District 1 Commissioner Frank Jewell is not up for reelection.
Voters in central and western Duluth neighborhoods will see the District 7B Minnesota State Representative race shown on the ballot above. Those in the northern portions of the Duluth Heights and Kenwood neighborhoods will see the District 3B Minnesota State Representative race between Republican Andrew J. Hjelle the Democratic-Farmer-Labor incumbent Mary Murphy. Voters on the eastern side of Duluth will see the District 7A Minnesota State Representative race between Republican Tom Sullivan and Democratic-Farmer-Labor incumbent Jennifer Schultz.
And don’t forget the judicial races are on the back side.
The League of Women Voters held this candidate forum for District 3 St. Louis County Commissioner on July 29. Pat Castellano is the moderator.