Rep. Rukavina roasted at send-off

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Politicians and state officials mixed with corporate executives and local labor leaders in a tribute roast to state DFL Rep. Tom Rukavina, a 26-year veteran of the Minnesota Legislature, the Duluth News Tribune reported. About 400 packed into a Mountain Iron, Minn., community center on Monday night to thank him for his service – and get in a few zingers at the expense of the beloved and at times bombastic Iron Range lawmaker.

The News Tribune noted a few of the better lines.

“Tommy Rukavina knows the Range. Tommy Rukavina speaks for the Range. Tommy Rukavina is the Range. I begin my remarks with those three quotes from Tommy Rukavina,” said U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

Gov. Mark Dayton promptly walked off the stage after noting that, “My mother always told me that if you can’t say something nice about someone, you shouldn’t say anything at all.” He then returned with kind words for Rukavina.

Rukavina's daughter Ida said her father would give someone in need the shirt off his back. “It just wouldn’t fit most people,” she said, taking a swipe at her dad's short stature.

Northland's Newscenter has a few highlights:

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