Primary Election: Hear from Duluth City Council At-Large candidates

Duluth’s primary election is Tuesday, and there are city council positions up for grabs, including two at-large seats.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Duluth’s primary election is Tuesday, and there are city council positions up for grabs, including two at-large seats.

It’s a competitive field for the two seats, with eight candidates campaigning.

Current City Councilor Arik Forsman is among them and said his experience serving the city makes him an ideal candidate.

“I’ve been doing the job and getting the job done,” Forsman said. “I think there are a number of different examples from my resume that show why you should support me next election.”

Lynn Marie Nephew, supported by Forsman, said her top priority is building affordable housing. Nephew was a real estate agent and served on housing nonprofits for nearly 20 years. She said her knowledge of the market is her biggest strength.

“Housing is the biggest challenge we have here in Duluth right now, and I have experience doing it,” Nephew said. “I think that is the biggest reason why people should choose me.”

Ashlie Castaldo wants to focus on civic accountability and transparency within city government. Castaldo said her time spent in the community has helped build essential relationships.

“I’m invested in this community,” Castaldo said. “I’m a commissioner on the disability commission, and I’m also involved in numerous boards and task forces within the community.”

Jenna Yeakle said she’s running to represent the community in city decisions, and her background in nonprofits and community service provides an advantage.

“I have served on the boards of nonprofits, have worked with and for neighborhood associations,” Yeakle said. “I’ve worked with cities, counties and the state to provide essential services for folks.”

Asher Estrin-Haire said he’s running for city council to voice the concerns of the citizens and focus on the housing shortage.

“I have no agenda beyond ensuring the needs of every citizen are met, instead of trying to enrich myself with shady details,” Estrin-Haire wrote in a statement.

There are three other candidates running: Shawn A. Savela, Therese Wisocki and Miranda Pacheco.

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According to the Duluth City Clerk, there were nearly a thousand early voters who cast their ballot as of Monday.

Duluthians who want to vote on primary election day can go to their polling place between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Click here to find your polling place.

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