Challengers won three seats in this week’s Iron County board elections. The wins come despite campaign advertising by a billionaire-backed political advocacy group.
Americans for Prosperity labeled Victor Ouimette, Brad Matson, and Karl Krall as anti-mine activists on a recent mailing. All three won seats on the county board in this week’s election, beating out incumbents.
Contested county board elections in Iron County have given rise to a series of candidate forums.
The Iron County Citizen's Forum is organizing the two nonpartisan debates inspired by the League of Women Voters format.
Organizer Terry Daulton says the controversy over a proposed iron mine has engaged more people in local politics.
“It’s very unusual to have this many people running. And it’s actually brought a lot of people into the fold thinking about what are the things our county is doing – so I think it’s actually energized the public a little bit.”
Iron County citizens are holding a forum next week. It will look at issues brought on by iron mining in Minnesota. Organizer Terry Daulton says the guest is research scientist Nancy Schuldt water quality specialist with the Fond du Lac Tribe.
“And she works on a lot of the issues relating to water quality and wild rice, and also potential things like mercury contamination that would affect tribal members there in Minnesota.”
Iron County residents have a chance to brush up on their understanding of local zoning ordinances that regulate mining. The Iron County Citizen’s Forum is hosting speaker George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Foundation and former secretary of the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Terry Daulton with the Iron County Citizen’s Forum says it will help inform people about how communities deal with mining activities.