Cloquet mayor announces bid for House District 11ACloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren announced his intention Wednesday to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the open District 11A.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren announced his intention Wednesday to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the open District 11A. The district includes all of Carlton County, along with two townships in northern Pine County and five townships in southern St. Louis County.
Ahlgren has deep roots in Cloquet, where he has served as mayor since 1998. He is currently a member of the Cloquet Economic Development Committee and had previously served as Kiwanis Club president and was a member of the Cloquet School Board from 1980-1992.
Ahlgren has also been a strong advocate for regional growth and development. He currently serves on the Board of the Arrowhead Regional Development Committee and the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District.
“I am excited to take my public service to the next level by seeking election to the Minnesota House of Representatives,” Ahlgren said. “The Legislature needs strong, experienced leaders who know how to get things done. I’ve worked hard to make the city of Cloquet a great place to live and promote economic growth in the Arrowhead region. I’ll take that same drive to the Minnesota Capitol.”
Ahlgren’s work experience reflects a breadth of knowledge in many government arenas: He was a teacher in Two Harbors, a probation parole officer, and Carlton County court administrator.
“My experience in local government, education, corrections, and the courts would be a valuable addition to the Minnesota Legislature,” Ahlgren said. “I have many ideas for reforms that could help our state run more efficiently and cost-effectively.
“Through the past 30-plus years, my many connections over the years in St. Paul have enabled me to secure $250,000 in start-up money for the Carlton, Moose Lake and Cloquet ice arenas on a committee I was on for the Amateur Sports Commission,” he added. “I also was able to convince the legislature to reimburse Carlton County almost $500,000 for murder cases held in other counties, just to mention a few local areas that I have helped Carlton County exclusively. I have many friends in both the Senate and the House as well as other governmental agencies. This would be an easy transition and learning curve.”
Ahlgren has worked for many regional projects at the legislature, such as the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, the transition of the Moose Lake Hospital to the Moose Lake Correctional facility, PP/MSOP hospital, and the Cloquet Area Fire District.
Four other candidates are running for the same seat on the DFL ticket: Pete Radosevich, 48, attorney and Esko restaurateur; Jesse Berglund, 35, Cloquet attorney; Mike Sundin, 54, DFL activist from Esko and member of Painters & Allied Trades Local 106; and Byron Kuster, 53, educator from Moose Lake.
Running on the Republican ticket is Jim Putnam, 61, mayor of Scanlon.
An independent candidate also has entered the race: Cory Pylkka, 42, Atkinson Town Board supervisor.