August 17, 1999

DFL, labor unions back their candidates


The Duluth DFL Party and the city's labor unions disagree over who should be the city's next mayor.

The Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 66 both backed Mayor Gary Doty when they met earlier this month.

Last week, the DFL endorsed City Councilor Greg Gilbert, who is challenging Doty's bid for a third term.

The unions and the DFL are more unified when it comes to Duluth City Council races.

In the race for two at-large council seats, the DFL endorsed former Superior Mayor Herb Bergson and Donny Ness, a party activist who works for U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar.

AFSCME backed Bergson and the Central Labor Body endorsed Ness. Both organizations may make second endorsements in September, said Alan Netland, who is president of both organizations.

The DFL, AFSCME and the Central Labor Body all endorsed Russ Stewart in the 3rd district, the only other city race with a primary election. Steward is challenging incumbent Councilor Marcia Hales.

The DFL backed Russ Stover in the 5th District; he's running against incumbent Councilor Isobel Rapaich. The unions have yet to make endorsements in the 1st and 5th council district races, which don't have primaries.

In Duluth School Board elections, the DFL gave its seal of approval to at-large candidates Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, Matt Doyle and Mike Akervik. The party endorsed Pauline Nuhring in the 2nd District and Garry Krause in the 3rd District.

The Central Labor Body backed the same slate of candidates.

AFSCME also endorsed Akervik, Doyle and Loeffler-Kemp, but has yet to endorse in the 2nd and 3rd district races.

The Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body endorsed City Councilor Dale Swapinski in House District 7A. The special election will fill the seat vacated by the death of longtime Duluth legislator Willard Munger.

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