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Recharging after the elections

We are one month removed from the recent political candidate campaigns. Our local elections were amplified by the concurrent high-profile campaigns for U.S. Congress and Minnesota governor.

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Duluth News Tribune and our friends from the local broadcast community to host the one local debate between U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Mike McFadden. Likewise, we hosted the only local debate between U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, Stewart Mills and Ray Sandman. Moreover, we hosted the one local debate between Gov. Mark Dayton and Jeff Johnson.

Doing so was an ambitious effort. It required much of our time and energy. As a result, we welcomed the arrival of Election Day. Even though a month has passed since the elections, it is a challenge to expend the energy necessary to reengage in the political progress. Yet, reengage we must.

For those of us who were ardently immersed in the recent election, it is time to take a deep, invigorating, cleansing breath — and reengage. Despite the disappointment or jubilation we may have experienced on Election Day, we would be wise to join forces and recommit ourselves to the advancement of our beloved community.

We were encouraged as children to be good losers and winners. Now is an occasion that calls on us to honor this counsel imparted by parents, coaches and teachers. We would do well to place the political race behind us and embrace our newly elected political leaders.

Additionally, it is an opportune time to reflect gratefully on those individuals who were willing to put their political beliefs into action by running for office. The challenges of orchestrating a political campaign are formidable. I believe it was a deep commitment to public service and the process of democracy that motivated local candidates to expend their time and energy in seeking elected positions.

It is also a time for optimism in our Zenith City on the hill. Success in the recent election most likely will reenergize incumbents while empowering the newly elected political leaders. The exciting synergy generated by this combination of new and renewed leadership promises to bring out the best in the political process.

The Chamber's leadership intends to collaborate with our elected officials to strengthen our community. We will continue to advocate for and represent the business community in local initiatives and issues. We will marshal the Chamber's resources to work with political leaders who are interested in making the coming years a time of prosperity for community members. We invite others to unite with us in this effort.

Together, we can generate the influence and the insight necessary to uplift and advance our community.

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751 or dross@duluthchamber.com.

David Ross

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.

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