Duluth BizPac weighs in on candidates for Mayor, City Council

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DULUTH, MN– We’re getting a first look at how Duluth’s business community hopes the upcoming Mayoral and City Council races will shake out.

BizPac says its mission is to support or oppose initiatives and candidates, the group feels will affect Duluth area businesses.

Just weeks ago, current Duluth Mayor Emily Larson was the only name on the ballot for Mayor this election, but all it took was one candidate to challenge her to get the ball rolling.

“It was slow coming, but then it was like opening the floodgate,” says Rob Stenberg, President of Duluth BizPac.

There are now 9 candidates vying for the city’s top position, Current Mayor Emily Larson, Corey Ford, Caleb Anderson, Jesse Peterson, Doris Queen Lavender, John Socha, Daniel Weatherly, David Nolle, and Donald Raihala. One of those candidates stands out to Stenberg.

“I think David Nolle is an interesting Candidate. I think Duluth is looking for somebody who is a little bit more open to business and having a pro-business type of atmosphere in Duluth. We know that’s not the case right now.”

Stenberg says with the city’s current leaders, the business folks feel there is too much overstepping from the government.  “The larger the role of government in business, the less attractive a city is going to be.”

BizPac, looking for reform at City Hall, including on the City Council.  “Derek Medved who’s running At-Large, he’s a business owner. He’s got a lot of energy, he’s got a lot of good ideas.”

Candidates running with Medved include incumbent Noah Hobbs, and current councilor Arik Forsman along with Matthew William Stewart, Stephen Abernethy, Mike Mayo, and Nathaniel Rankin for one of two At-Large Seats.

The group says they are hoping Duluth leaders will focus on the basic needs of the city. “The business community is looking for clear priorities.”

Hoping a shake-up at City Hall will turn Duluth into a more positive business community.  Stenberg says, “we’re about trying to make positive change, working with elected officials, supporting those candidates that we think are going to be good for business in the city of Duluth.”

With months still to go before the election season, BizPac says they are looking into each candidate before making any specific endorsements.

We reached out to City Council President Noah Hobbs, he did not respond to a request for comment but in previous stories involving Bizpac he has said the council is already pro-business and BizPac is trying to “get legs where there are none.”

For a full list of candidates running for Mayor and City Council click here.

Jessie Slater

Jessie Slater

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