Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

McDonald to seek county board seat

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 5/2/18

REGIONAL— Paul McDonald is widely known across the region as a teacher and a basketball coach. He’d soon like to be known as a county commissioner.

McDonald, an Iron Range native and longtime …

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McDonald to seek county board seat

Posted

REGIONAL— Paul McDonald is widely known across the region as a teacher and a basketball coach. He’d soon like to be known as a county commissioner.

McDonald, an Iron Range native and longtime Ely resident, announced Tuesday that he will be a candidate for St. Louis County Board, representing the Fourth District. He would be replacing current County Commissioner Tom Rukavina, who isn’t seeking re-election due to health reasons.

McDonald, who grew up in Chisholm in a family devoted to high school sports, has been athletic director at Vermilion Community College for the last 28 years, in addition to his coaching and teaching. During that time, McDonald has represented his faculty union in St. Paul and has held several other important leadership positions, including four years as a board member of the Minnesota High School League and as a current member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 13 Executive Committee.

McDonald believes that his leadership experience and extensive work with young people would serve him well as a county commissioner.

“My entire professional life has been spent assisting and helping people,” he said. “As an educator and community/union activist, I have learned the importance of involvement, persistence and commitment to get things accomplished.”

McDonald said he prefers to focus on problem solving, with a leadership style geared toward listening and providing better outcomes for everyone. “I want to apply my experience and commitment so that all citizens of St. Louis County, from babies to senior citizens, have a good quality of life,” he said.

McDonald said he was fortunate to grow up in a stable family with supportive parents, but recognizes that many young people in the region aren’t so lucky. “St. Louis County spends 15 to 20 million dollars each year on out of home placement for kids,” he said. “For over 30 years in my profession, I have guided young people from many different backgrounds to success and helped them become productive citizens.”

McDonald said he supports the county’s mission and wants to create an environment where communities have the tools to succeed, including with sound infrastructure. “With half of the roads in the county located in the Fourth District, it is imperative to have quality roads to travel and transport goods on.”

McDonald said serving on the county board would be a continuation of his life’s work of helping people. “People look to elected officials to help with concerns. I will advocate for fairness and equity for the district in all aspects of county issues.” 

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