DFL voters in the 8th Congressional District, especially those on the Iron Range, have a tough decision to make on Tuesday. In our minds, two strong candidates have clearly emerged in the race: Joe Radinovich and Jason Metsa.
Radinovich has ran successful campaigns for Congressman Rick Nolan in 2016 and most recently the winning effort of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Meanwhile, Metsa is a three-term state legislators from Minnesota House 6B and resides in Virginia, putting him front and center for a number of local issues for the Range.
But if DFL voters are looking for the best candidate to contend with likely Republican nominee Pete Stauber in November, their vote is best placed with the wide reach of Radinovich.
The difference in Radinovich and Mesta comes down to the details. Radinovich doesn’t go as far to pitch for debt free tuition at four-year public schools, instead opting to support it at two-year institutions, along with similar ideas to reduce student loan debt through the federal government.
Radinovich’s broad experience as assistant commissioner for the-then Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board and campaign director for Nolan and Frey provide him with a more diverse and rounded feel for the district.
Metsa’s Northern New Deal plan is the boldest reform of the candidates in the 8th Congressional District. His support of mining and laid-off miners during the downturn of 2015 cannot go unrecognized or unappreciated. When push comes to shove he was a key resource for miners to earn federal benefits and more.
Other DFLers in the Aug. 14 primary are North Branch Mayor Kirsten Kennedy; former TV news anchor Michelle Lee of Moose Lake and Soren Christian Sorensen, a blogger who lives near Bemidji.
For DFLers, Radinovich has the knowledge, a plan and the momentum.