Build or overhaul: Duluth's candidates for mayor make their case at debate


Push forward in the same direction, or re-evaluate and overhaul.

That's how Emily Larson and Chuck Horton – the top two candidates from last month's primary – presented themselves in the Duluth mayoral debate Tuesday.

Northland's NewsCenter reports Larson, the city council president, argued she's an experienced leader in the area, and qualified to continue building upon a solid economic situation that's been built up in recent years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the city had a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in August – the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development pegged it at 3.5 percent for that month.

The overall state seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4 percent; nationally it was 5.1 percent.

Horton – a former boxing coach and promoter who recently went to school for chemical dependency counseling – countered by saying Duluth is "on a dangerous path," adding the downtown area with crime and drugs needs attention, Northland's NewsCenter notes.

Aaron Brown calls Horton “more conservative” than the DFL-endorsed Larson. Current Mayor Don Ness isn't seeking a third term.

The Duluth News Tribune has a question-by-question video breakdown, so you can easily see the responses that most interest you.

The paper described the candidates as offering "contrasting views," with Larson looking to build upon current successes while Horton is looking for reform.

Part of that included Larson defending her work on the city council, FOX 21 notes. Horton accused city leaders of not being transparent with the budget.

The general election is Nov. 3, with polls open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. A handful of other candidates have also filed in the race, the City of Duluth's website says.

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