Dave Lislegard has experienced firsthand the cyclical life on the Iron Range. A laid off miner from LTV Steel Mining Company, Lislegard shepherded the city of Aurora through trying times for 14 years as a city councilor and most recently mayor, bringing along new businesses and the prospects of a job boom through PolyMet in the process.
And Lislegard hasn’t stopped there, working on behalf of the entire Iron Range by organizing, lobbying, testifying and leading state and federal efforts to positively impact the region.
If on Aug. 14, DFL voters in Minnesota House District 6B are looking for a Legislature that doesn’t forget about the Iron Range, and a candidate that can make their voices known, they should cast their vote for Lislegard to advance to the Nov. 6 general election against unopposed Republican Skeeter Tomczak of Eveleth.
Lislegard is no stranger to the Iron Range and possesses the combination of political experience, relationship building and a willingness to stand up for what he believes in.
Lislegard has formed relationships with local elected officials through the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, of which he is now president, to present a united front on issues critical to local governments, schools and small businesses. Together with RAMS and Executive Director Steve Giorgi, Lislegard has been a leading voice in St. Paul on broadband, local government aid and more.
As a board member for Jobs for Minnesotans, he has joined forces with business, labor and communities from across the Northland to advocate for the industries that power the Iron Range. That includes his steadfast support of all types of mining, which has led the group to be the primary voice informing federal legislators on the massive economic potential of PolyMet, personally speaking with congressional representatives and working the halls of the Capital on the region’s behalf.
With Jobs for Minnesotans, Lislegard was also part of an effort that proposed a multi-faceted task force of industries, communities, environmental and tribes to advise the governor on the wild rice/sulfate issue, attempting to reach across party lines and cultural divides for a science-based solution. Gov. Mark Dayton eventually took his own version of the task force live after the 2018 session.
But Lislegard’s motto of “people before politics” is also rooted in his own actions. When the DFL party proposed the anti-copper-nickel Resolution 54 in 2017, we were in the hallways of the Central Committee gathering when Lislegard delivered an impassioned plea to outgoing 6B Rep. Jason Metsa to take the resolution to a vote, rather than kicking it down the road.
The resolution failed resoundingly.
His primary opponent on Aug. 14 is Shaun Hainey, a first-time candidate who is a St. Louis County real estate appraiser. He has a background in technology and faith-based community organizing for social-justice issues.
In Lislegard, the DFL voters of Minnesota House 6B have a candidate with a true passion for the region and its people — that will put their best interests ahead his own — and bring the type of leadership to St. Paul that the Iron Range needs to have its voice heard.